What is machine learning?
Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) which gives computers the opportunity to learn without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of software that can be changed when it is exposed to new data.
How does machine learning work?
The machine learning process is similar to data mining. Both systems searched through data in order to identify patterns. Instead of mining data for human understanding – as is the case with data mining applications – machine learning uses this data to record patterns in data and adjust program actions accordingly. Machine learning algorithms are often categorised as monitored or unsolicited. Monitored algorithms may relate to what new data has previously been learned. Unsolicited algorithms can interpret deviations from datasets.
Opportunities when using machine learning
Facebook’s newsfeed uses machine learning to adapt all members’ feeds. If a member frequently stops scrolling in order to read or “like” a specific friend’s contributions, the newsfeed will start to display more of that friend’s activity earlier on in the feed. Behind the scenes, the software is simply using statistical analysis and predictive analysis to identify patterns in the user’s data, and then uses this pattern to populate the newsfeed. If the member no longer stops to read, “like” or comment on their friend’s contributions, this new data will be included in the dataset and the newsfeed will be adjusted accordingly.
Relevant terms to machine learning: AI, Artificial Intelligence