What is machine learning?
Machine learning is designed to use data to uncover patterns and make predictions. Because any kind of data that is catalogued online can be analyzed, information can be gathered from numbers, words, images, internet clicks, and anything else that is stored on the internet or in computer systems.
Data is essential to accurate machine learning outcomes. The more data the program can assess, the more accurate the pattern or prediction will be. For example, after analyzing thousands of pictures of oranges and apples, an algorithm can accurately identify which is which, even if the image isn’t labeled.
Differences between traditional software and AI
The difference between traditional computer software and a machine learning system is that a human developer writes the code that enables computer software to differentiate between oranges and apples, for example. Whereas in the case of machine learning, the program actually learns the difference between apples and oranges by analyzing massive amounts of data.
Machine learning is one way to achieve artificial intelligence, or AI, which is defined as any machine that can perform at least one task that would normally require the intelligence of a human person. It enables AI to distinguish patterns and identify items without human direction.
Additional ways to build AI systems that don’t depend on machine learning can include mutating algorithms to discover more evolved solutions, and programs that contain rules that enable the machine to complete a task, such as flying a plane on autopilot.
Deep learning and neural networks
Deep learning is a version of machine learning that enhances its ability to find patterns. This type of learning utilizes deep neural networks that are comprised of many layers of computational nodes. These can tease apart the data being analyzed and then, based on the outcome, an accurate prediction can be made.
Neural networks enable a deeper level of knowledge because they are effective at dealing with large data sets, especially if those sets contain multiple features. Different features of the data can be cataloged into different nodes, then the deep learning program can evaluate all the nodes to create a more accurate assessment. For example, not only can deep learning assess the difference in shape between oranges and apples, it could also consider color, enabling it to differentiate between red apples and green apples.
Types of machine learning
All machine learning programs assess data, but how the data is assessed can differ depending on the ultimate goal of the analysis.
The three different types of machine and deep learning include:
- Supervised learning is a common way to look for patterns. Data is labeled so the program knows what kind of patterns to look for. This kind of learning is used on platforms like Spotify and Netflix when recommendations are made based on shows and songs that are selected.
- Unsupervised learning doesn’t require any input by a person. Instead, the program looks for any and all patterns it can find. This creates a lot of data that can be helpful in industries like cybersecurity.
- Reinforcement learning can be found in programs that learn how to beat human players at complex games. Using trial and error, it is rewarded or penalized for certain behaviors, reinforcing it to behave in a certain way.
Training data for Machine Learning can be individually ordered from clickworker according to the requirements of the system to be trained.
How it is used
Anything that can be stored online or inside computer systems can be analyzed by machine learning algorithms, making it a powerful way for a variety of industries to uncover new knowledge.
As mentioned above, reinforcement learning is gaining traction in the security sector. Programs can better identify malware, thus predict which files contain malware programming, while security screenings that utilize machine learning can spot things human screeners might miss in the airport or at a concert venue. It can also keep fraud at bay, uncovering fraudulent charges and possible identify theft.
Both healthcare and financial fields benefit from this kind of learning algorithm. Uncovered patterns can make spotting cancer in patient scans more accurate, while stock traders can utilize predictive systems to gain a better idea of fluctuations in the stock market, knowing the best times to buy and sell.
Smart cars wouldn’t be possible without machine learning. Using algorithms, the car is able to learn how to drive through traffic safely. Smart cars will learn things about their specific owners and environment in the near future.