What is Machine Learning?

To understand machine learning, I believe it is better to understand “What is Not Machine Learning?” For the same purpose let’s take an example given below:

Input:
12, 15, 17, 11, 13, 14, 20, 18, 19, 10

Output:
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20

If someone asks, “What problem is the above?” 

The answer is sorting, i.e., arranging in ascending order.  

How to do sorting? 

There are various ways to sort a list of numbers. One of the simplest methods is Selection sort. The steps of which are given below.

  • Find the smallest element from the input.
  • Place it in the first position in the output.
  • Remove it from the input for further consideration.
  • Repeat the above steps.

In other words, we do know how to sort, or we have an algorithm for sorting. Since we have an algorithm, we need not learn it. 

What if we do not know the procedure to solve a particular problem? Predicting customer behaviour on e-commerce sites is one such example. The shopping pattern of people is not random. If you are throwing a party, you buy a different set of products than a person having a baby at home. There are specific but unknown factors for a customer’s behaviour. The e-Commerce website creates an extensive database of the online transaction generated due to millions of online customers buying thousands of products each day. This data has a hidden pattern. 

Another example is recognizing faces: we do it effortlessly even if the person has a different hairstyle or different lighting situations. Since we do it unconsciously and cannot explain how we do it, we cannot write an algorithm.

We want to complete it with data when we do not have knowledge. There are many applications for which it is almost impossible to identify the process fully; however, a good approximation can be made. This is the idea behind machine learning.

What are the applications of machine learning?

Machine learning is one of the subjects of media hype as it has various applications like alerts for traffic, e.g., Google Maps provides you with the fastest route when in high traffic; Video Surveillance. i.e., valuable information can be drawn for a video; Sentiment Analysis, i.e., based on the words used in a social media post, can be categorized as a positive, negative, or neutral notion. Also, they can define the magnitude of these words; Product Recommendation. i.e., e-Commerce sites Amazon gives you a list of recommended items; Google Translate, which easily translates between any language; and Auto-Driven Cars. Machine learning applications can be found whenever we wish the machine to learn automatically to produce rules instead of programmers specifying the sequence of operations performed for a particular task.

Is machine learning a good choice as a career?

The answer to the above question is YES if you are pretty excited to learn to program, analyze a huge amount of data and be good at statistics and linear algebra. Further, if you like to be more empirical than theoretical. Machine learning is really a good choice as a career as it can get you a good amount of salary because the demand for professionals equipped with machine learning skills is more than the supply for the same. It is observed these days that machine learning appears in many articles even those that are not technology-oriented. It suggests that the huge demand for software professionals with machine learning skills is going to be there at least for a decade. The first step toward opting for the career of machine learning specialist is to obtain a graduate degree in engineering in the related stream.

How SISTec help you to pursue a career in Machine Learning? 

Sagar Group of Institutions — SISTec has the expertise of its faculty and the infrastructure that allows you to follow the required career path. The institute runs B. Tech. Courses for Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence & Data Science. The training during the regular academic season and semester break related to machine learning tools and technologies has been the norm for more than five years.

Written By:
Mr. Nitin Kumar Mishra
Associate Professor
SISTec Ratibad Department of Computer Science and Engineering

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