Hand-coded neural networks

Here’s a JavaScript function that returns a positive value if both x and y are positive:

function bothPos(x, y) {
  const negX = Math.max(0, -x);
  const negY = Math.max(0, -y);
  return Math.max(0, 1-negX-negY);
}

Surprise - this function is also a neural network! Neural networks are usually drawn as

No, the neural network is not a series of neurons; it’s a JavaScript function which uses a restricted set of operations.

It approximates the function below, which is perhaps how you might naturally implement it:

function bothPos(x, y) {
  return x > 0 && y > 0 ? 1 : 0;
}

Hear “neural network” and you probably think “machine learning”. But it’s useful to think of neural networks independently of machine learning.

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