The What, Why and How of Machine Learning

The two words that are currently creating resounding echoes in the world of technology are “Artificial Intelligence”. While this technological revolution is being backed by several fields and technologies, Machine Learning is one of the fields that needs to be absorbed by any aspirer who dreams of working towards building an artificially intelligent and an automated, futuristic technology.

With Machine Learning providing a sure shot way to enter this world of artificial intelligence, more and more techies, professional newbies as well as young students are adding to the crowd of aspirers who wish to be a part of this community which plays a key role in building the future of technology. 

With such a hype revolving around this field of work, it is important for one to know the answers to the three basic questions: The what, why and how, before diving head straight and taking it up as a full fledged profession. 

So in this blog, we have jotted down these answers for you. Check it out!

The What of Machine Learning:

If we were to explain machine learning in one simple sentence, we would define it as a process that allows machines, or computers, to learn from data. Though this sentence might sound simple, it definitely takes way more than one sentence to understand exactly what machine learning is. 

When automating one single process that is backed by a particular type of data, it is possible to write a single piece of code that works well for that particular process. For instance, consider a website for a local business in a small-town dealing with a fixed set of products. The incoming customer data is almost constant. Hence a fixed code can help in personalising the experience for the customer.

But in a scenario with multiple processes backed by constantly newly emerging and unpredictable types of data, it is not possible to automate the process through a single piece of fixed code. For example, a global business that sells a variety of products, say amazon, cannot use a fixed code to predict and recommend products for every customer.

This is where Machine Learning comes into the picture. Machine learning helps systems analyse, understand and adapt according to the incoming data eliminating the need to constantly write new code for the new sets of data. 

The Why of Machine Learning

Now that you know what machine learning is, the necessity of this field can be easily explained. Data, today, is one of the most abundant as well as valuable resource. But conflict arises when this already abundant data keeps on multiplying. Hence, in order to work with this abundance, while avoiding the necessity for an abundance of workforce, machine learning is being used to work with and work through this resource.

Also, the future of several industries is driven by data. This explains the presence of Data Science and Machine Learning in every industry as well as the tremendous need for the technological workforce to move into this field.

The How of Machine Learning.

Well, all of this sounds well and good. But how do you think does a system adapt itself to the incoming data? Allow us to explain. 

The famous old saying “We learn from our mistakes.” applies to computers as well, in this case. 

Firstly, complex mathematical concepts and machine learning algorithms are used to build models for specific purposes. These models are trained using training data sets to check for accuracy. After every cycle of testing, feedback is given to these models which lets the model know how accurate or how inaccurate its results are. In other words, every time the model returns a wrong result, the machine learning engineer lets the model know its level of inaccuracy from the actual answer.

The model is further revised by making necessary changes to achieve a higher accuracy rate.

These steps are repeated until the model returns satisfactory result. This brings us to the end of the questionnaire.

Now that the three questions are answered, we hope you have gained a good understanding of what this field has in store for you. 

Though this might give you a gist of the field, machine learning is a vast area of work which can be completely understood only after jumping into the battlefield and picking up the real weapons, or in simpler words, learning and applying your knowledge. 

So here’s wishing all the future machine learning engineer the best of luck!


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Dedeepya Bypuneedi

A Computer Science graduate by education and a content writer by profession. Currently fulfilling her zeal to write by putting pen to paper every time she comes across something that is interesting enough to let the world know