Machine learning is a field that studies the “science” of how computers can be taught to do things. It is based on a computer how to program itself, thus developing the ability to perform a certain task without having someone describe explicitly how that task is performed. For example, if we want to teach a computer to spot an animal, we can do so by showing that computer a set of pictures; the algorithm embedded in the computer will use the examples provided to set the animals apart by identifying a set of distinct features.
In layman’s terms, machine learning is a teaching method for computers. It teaches them how to perform tasks that humans can’t do, such as make challenging calculations, estimations, distinguishing patterns from a broad database, and so much more. Machine learning is not necessarily aimed at programs that teach computers how to perform certain tasks but rather targets programs that can explain to a computer how to continue to learn on its own and uncover a personal way of performing a given task.
Here’s a quick example to help you get your head around the notion of machine learning without going crazy:
Machine learning algorithms are evolved standard algorithms. Basically, they give your program a nudge and make it “smarter”. They compel your program to learn automatically from the data you’ve initially provided. Picture something like a walking and talking Siri, or Skynet if you’ve seen the latest Terminator movie.
How can machine learning help your business?
Machine learning can significantly increase the general value of your apps. It can make them more responsive and more powerful to the needs of your users. Well-crafted algorithms permit great value to be taken out of disparate data sources, thus making machine learning fundamental for developers. It gives them the freedom to apply business critical analytics and make their apps hyper-personalised.
It is code (the fancy type only the savviest programmers can do) embedded in software to make it smarter and act on its own. It can be found in all kinds of apps, ranging from speech recognition and facial recognition, to self driving cars and efficient web search – so why should you implement machine learning into your business?
- Because it is extremely powerful providing that it has complete access to available datasets
- Because it provides new data constantly, which equals better results – the fresher the data the higher the chances for a computer program to learn and improve on its own
- Because it is an extremely popular research topic – the potential of ML is huge. It allows computers to be different and powerful, able to deliver the most intriguing and fascinating new apps
Let’s have a look at another example to help you understand how machine intelligence can help a business thrive.
Are you an avid online shopper? Did you notice that when you check out a product online, the accessed website recommends other products that are pretty much like the one you’re looking at (sometimes even better)? Of course you noticed. In fact, we bet that you even changed your mind a couple of times and went for the suggestion(s) instead. How can a website “guess” what you like? Well, there you have it – it’s machine learning. You most likely checked that site tens of times without buying anything. The ML program integrated into the platform spotted a pattern and was smart enough to recommend a similar product based on your initial preferences.
Machine learning can help fix your business problems
Machine learning is fundamental for start-ups today because it translates your business-related problems into ML algorithms. Some common business issues like product recommendation, fraud detection, and ad targeting feature “standard” machine learning formulas that have brought tremendous results. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of other formulations in ML that lead to increased predictive accuracy. However, app developers are not scientists. A single developer can’t do it all as machine learning is an incredibly vast technology – it offers tools that can be exploited endlessly. In fact, machine learning offers developers a unique opportunity, the opportunity to learn more about data science and improve their apps.
Increased automation and proper enterprise solutions help developers use ML to maintain an app’s accuracy. Automation is actually the key to machine learning creation within apps. With the help of machine learning, developers are able to determine optimal algorithms and optimal parameters for maximum accuracy. An interface that’s easy to use can guide a developer through the testing, training and tuning model of an app, while steering clear of statistical errors.
Machine learning resources
Machine learning is targeted to optimise issues that can’t be solved through human deduction alone (or just can’t be done fast enough by people, so it’s not worth the effort). In simple terms, it is based on using a certain amount of available data to find patterns, and then make predictions based on those patterns. However, machine learning programs are not merely based on a set of rules. The rules change as new information being introduced into the system.
As humans, we adapt to new situations and we make decisions based on new information that comes along. For us, this is learning. For a computer program, what mimics a similar behaviour is simply called “machine intelligence”. Check out some useful machine learning resources to help you get more familiar with the process, its benefits and how it can actually help you use it in the business environment.
- Sas.com – excellent article on what is machine learning and why it matters so much in software development
- Guardian.com – according to Google, machine intelligence is the future. Is that true? This article will clear things out for you
- ML Course – Stanford University has prepared this course on machine learning that will blow your mind. The videos are short and concise; excellent for those new to the machine learning process
Do you want to know more about machine learning? Are you curious to find out how it can make your business thrive? IT Enterprise can help you understand the perks of machine learning and software technology. Choose to make your start-up stand above the crowd and give it a personal voice by implementing the coolest, most groundbreaking apps to boost productivity.