Machine learning is a continuously evolving technology that is steadily increasing in its usefulness and pervasiveness. Most people utilize some form of machine learning every day as the devices we keep in our homes become smarter and more useful. This is one rapidly growing technology that no one can afford to ignore.
What Is Machine Learning?
Machine learning is an area of artificial intelligence programming in which computers use computational methods to evolve based on the data they gather. This differs from more traditional programming, where computers rely solely on a predetermined equation. With machine learning, the equation changes continuously as the program gathers more data and improves its processes.
Machine Learning Applications
The applications for machine learning are seemingly endless. Though you may not realize it, you probably use machine learning on a daily basis for things such as:
- Voice Recognition: Virtual assistants, smartphones, and other devices utilize voice recognition to understand what you say and interpret your meaning better over time.
- Credit Scoring: Computers use a wealth of data including your transaction history, work experience, credit history, income, and even pending court cases to determine creditworthiness.
- Fraud Detection: Machine learning helps computers identify your typical patterns and identify activity that is out of the norm, and likely from fraudulent sources.
- Medical Diagnosing: Computers can analyze massive amounts of data more quickly and accurately than medical professionals and may have the ability to provide a faster, more accurate diagnosis of medical conditions based on genetic data, psychological information, environmental influences, test results, reported symptoms, medical history, and more.
- Shopping Recommendations: Nearly any site you visit now is equipped to provide personalized recommendations based on your past purchases, browsing history, and other data. It is no coincidence that social media sites prioritize the content you like most, or that top shopping sites can accurately identify products you are most likely to buy.
The Future of Machine Learning
If you are looking for a professional industry that is poised for massive growth in the coming years, machine learning is definitely something to consider. A 2020 Deloitte study revealed that 73% of organizations surveyed believe that artificial intelligence (AI) is “very” or “critically” important to business today. According to the study, 53% of adopters of AI technology spent over $20 million on AI technology and talent over the prior year. Among seasoned AI adopters, 68% spent more than $20 million over the course of the year. Of these seasoned companies, 81% reported a payback period of less than two years.
Professionals who pursue an education in machine learning will find themselves uniquely equipped to keep pace with this evolving technology. Companies typically use machine learning either to increase efficiency or differentiate their products and services. The possibilities in both areas are nearly endless.
Machine learning exists quietly on the fringes of our daily activities, steadily gathering data for myriad uses, from providing more accurate traffic predictions to better assessing threats. Learning how to work with machine learning and artificial intelligence can open a world of new doors in the future.