Convolutional networks (CNNs) are deep artificial neural networks that can be used to classify images (name what they see), cluster them by similarity (photo search), and perform object recognition within scenes. They are algorithms that can identify faces, individuals, street signs, eggplants, platypuses and many other aspects of visual data. Convolutional networks perform optical character recognition (OCR) to digitize text and make natural-language processing possible on analog and hand-written documents, where the images are symbols to be transcribed. CNNs can also be applied to sound when it is represented visually as a spectrogram. More recently, convolutional networks have been applied directly to text analytics as well as graph data with graph convolutional networks. The efficacy of convolutional nets (ConvNets or CNNs) in image recognition is one of the main reasons why the world has woken up to the efficacy of deep learning. They are powering major advances in machine vision, which has obvious applications for self-driving cars, robotics, drones, security, medical diagnoses, and treatments for the visually impaired.

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