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Machine Learning – Explanation & Applications

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The general meaning of machine learning is: learning without being specifically programmed to do so. Also, don’t get machine learning confused with Artificial Intelligence (AI). These are two, entirely different, kettles of fish.

With regards to full AI, the technology is currently a long way away from Skynet. So, nothing to worry about in that department. No singularity just yet.

Machine learning; a subset of artificial intelligence specifically designed to study algorithms and statistics. Quite the mouthful.

These machines still need us to connect them to the data though. While the data processes, the machine will run its own checks.

A good portion of these checks are looking for matching corresponding patterns. With this done it will apply this updated information in each following check session. This process will happen thousands of times at a very fast pace. Considering that, it’s easy to imagine the technology can change things quite rapidly.

Many fields of science are in benefit, aided by this processing system.
The saying ‘many hands make light work’ is perfect for understanding how machine learning benefits us.

The new data analyst is a machine…

With one machine running a scientific process, continuously looking for imperfections or upgrades, advancements accelerate. Now, apply this on a global scale, many machines, focusing on specific subjects, you get the picture.

The difference between full AI and machine learning? Machine learning systems will not be having conversations with you. Doing so will only cause confusion. This is because there is no way it can understand a conversation with you. Conversations are entirely removed from its own understandings.

Machine Learning Applications

This particular field of artificial intelligence steadily moves forward. Already, machine learning has sprung into the medical world; helping to accelerate the search for cures. Machine learning looks at the stars in a whole new way too, aiding in the search to find similar systems in space. Recent news also claim it can now help in predicting earthquake aftershocks.

The world really is waking up. Learning together how this can help us. Every day more information releases on how the tech is being used. More information on how it can aid us in many new ways.

Simple features of our everyday life are all targets for application. Thus, features like traffic lights are not safe from machine learning. Implementation means the lights can adapt depending on the time of day and general movement of traffic. Also, because of the need for data to study, traffic reports from previous years are fed into the system.

Most creatures on this planet are creatures of habit, this includes us. Perhaps you disagree with this statement?

Even a disagreement to the statement could be proven to be habit. Based on all previous reactions that is…

The Future of Machine Learning

You know the bad feeling that raises the hackles on your spine? That bad feeling because somebody, or something is watching you? Don’t worry though, this is a normal, natural phenomenon. Some call it gut instinct.

By using the data to watch the flow of traffic the machine also watches each person in the system, by proxy. Not on a personal data level of course, but still, overall, watching for patterns. Could this be a reason people feel uncomfortable with the machines aid? Therefore, can this be considered a reason for some of the bad press surrounding AI?
To clarify, some may be wary machine learning can be applied negatively.

Along with science and civic management, big businesses now regularly clamber on board. With each new development more companies notice and become involved. This is natural, tech and business usually aim for ‘ahead of the curve’.

In other words, as time goes on, we can only hope the tech is used in a positive manner. Used, that is, to benefit all from its application. Thank you for reading.


For reference, some previous articles from us. Articles with machine learning at their core:

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image source: James Cameron