What is Machine Learning?

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What is Machine Learning?

Answering the question of what is “machine learning” has been a puzzle to many, especially to those who are new in this field. Perhaps let us start by going through some examples of the machine learning examples that you might have come across having no idea they are driven by machine learning.

virtual personal assistants

Alexa, Siri, and Google assistant are some examples of the top most used virtual assistants used today. Just as the name suggests, they assist you in finding information, when asked through voice commands or sometimes through text. All you are required to do is activate them and ask your queries “which is the nearest hotel?”, “Which is the next holiday in my country?”. To answer these questions, your personal assistant will look for information stored in its database, recalling related queries, or send commands to other resources i.e phone apps. You can also instruct your assistants to perform certain tasks for you like “set an alarm for 7 PM today” or “Remind me to water the garden in the morning tomorrow”

All this has been made possible through machine learning. Through Machine learning, these personal assistants are able to collect and refine information on the basis of their previous encounters with them. Later on, this data is utilized to provide users with better results tailored to their preferences.

Other machine learning examples include:

  • Email spam filtering
  • Search engine result filtering
  • Product recommendation
  • Fraud Detection
  • Image recognition
  • Post ranking in social media

As the internet keeps on growing you will get to come across some or maybe all of those machine learning examples listed above. For instance, if you are a Facebook user by now you have noticed that if you post an image with your friend in it Facebook will automatically recognize the face of your friend. Another example would be the new friends’ recommendation list, you can notice that some of the users recommended are those you know but Facebook does not know this.

With the few examples of Machine Learning, we can now get to define what machine learning is.

According to Arthur Samuel, he defined machine learning is the field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. In his case, he proved this using checkers. He created a computer program to play checkers which was not good at first. With time the program by itself observed all the mistakes and the winning moves it took and perfected the game by itself.

So in simple terms, we can conclude that machine learning is the study of how computer programs learn from experience and get to perfect a certain task. All this is with the aim of making our day to day life experiences smooth.

Let us know in the comments section some of your encounters in machine learning and your experience with it.

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