Machine Learning: A Powerful Computational Tool

Machine Learning is a computational technique that has been growing in popularity recently. What is machine learning and why do we use it?

According to SAS:

Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. It is a branch of artificial intelligence based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention.

Essentially, machine learning feeds data to computers and allows them to “learn” for themselves. Machine learning is broadly divided into two categories: supervised and unsupervised.

Supervised means that we give the computer certain inputs and the expected output. We repeat this lots of times, and the computer eventually learns how to predict the output from a set of given inputs. Then, we can give the computer an unknown set of inputs and see what it guesses!

Unsupervised means that we only give the computer the input data. We let the computer “play” with the data and figure out patterns and relations in the data by itself.

What do we use machine learning for? Lots of things. Machine learning, or ML, is used in everything from self-driving cars to cancer detection to speech synthesis.

With the computational world evolving rapidly, it’s important for everyone to have a basic idea of the newest developments. What do you think of machine learning? Do you have any ethical concerns about its development? What are some potential use cases. How will machine learning shape the future?

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