The world is quietly being modified by machine learning.
We no longer need to teach computers how to perform complex tasks like image recognition or text translation.
Systems are now being made that let computers learn how to do it themselves.
Advances in both theory and practice are throwing the promise of machine learning into sharp relief.
The field has the potential to transform a range of industries, from self-driving cars to intelligent business applications.
We already have seen this with the development in self-driving cars.
So what is machine learning? Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is the science of making things smart — a diverse mix of computer science techniques dating back to the 1950’s.
Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that improve with experience and an important part of A.I.
It can also be described as training a program by example (e.g., teaching it to recognize cats by showing it pictures labeled “cat”) rather than instructing it line-by-line.
Google is one one of the companies that has invested a lot in this.
“Machine learning is used across almost all of our products, including Search, Gmail, YouTube, Maps, and Android,” explains Dorothy Ooko, the communications manager at Google for East and Sub-Saharan region.
Here are a few examples of how it’s used by Google:
Talk to the Google app on your smartphone.
Speech recognition turns the sounds into words, natural language processing helps understand what you mean and Search ranking shows you links for top results.
Use the Google Translate app to talk, write, or read in more than 100 languages — that’s machine translation.
Search for anything from "hugs" to "dogs" in Google Photos because the system was trained to recognize images in photos and videos.
Now you can respond to an email with the touch of a button. SmartReply in Inbox suggests responses so you can reply to an email with the touch of a button.
Gmail and Chrome protect you by filtering out spam and malware.
“Our goal will always be to make useful products that improve peoples’ everyday lives and help tackle larger problems in the world too.
We use many computer science techniques towards that goal, and one of the most important ones is machine learning,” said Dorothy Ooko.
Machine Learning is a new tool that can be used for better forecasting. For most businesses people, forecasting demand is increasingly becoming an unconquerable challenge, frequently leading to mostly wrong results.
Now Machine Learning seems to offer a solution for demand forecasting.
With the inherent capability to learn from current data, Machine Learning can help to overcome challenges facing businesses in their demand variations.
Though that is on the good side, the human species needs to brace for the future changes that are to come with it.
Predictions are one. This tool can be easily used to manipulate stock markets and even certain industries for instance betting. This means that IT companies developing machine learning need to come up with substantive caps to limit this or develop laws that will protect the future intelligence of machines.
So do we expect machines in the near future to be able to do everything a human being can do?
This is a complex area of study but we cannot ignore it. It is so complex and wide-ranging that even its definition can change from one person to the next.