Machine learning is a field of computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.

Machine learning explores the study and construction of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data – such algorithms overcome following strictly static program instructions by making data-driven predictions or decisions, through building a model from sample inputs. Machine learning is employed in a range of computing tasks where designing and programming explicit algorithms with good performance is difficult or infeasible; example applications include email filtering, detection of network intruders or malicious insiders working towards a data breach, optical character recognition (OCR), learning to rank, and computer vision.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere. A possibility is that you are using it in one way or the other and you don’t even know about it. One of the popular applications of AI is Machine Learning (ML).

%

of the industry are using Machine Learning.

Machine learning is closely related to computational statistics, which also focuses on prediction-making through the use of computers. It has strong ties to mathematical optimization, which delivers methods, theory and application domains to the field. Machine learning is sometimes conflated with data miningwhere the latter subfield focuses more on exploratory data analysis and is known as unsupervised learning. Machine learning can also be unsupervised and be used to learn and establish baseline behavioral profiles for various entities and then used to find meaningful anomalies.

Daily Uses

If you are using Facebook, YouTube, Google, Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.., then Congratulations, you are enjoying the Machine Learning Models.

Within the field of data analytics, machine learning is a method used to devise complex models and algorithms that lend themselves to prediction; in commercial use, this is known as predictive analytics. These analytical models allow researchers, data scientists, engineers, and analysts to “produce reliable, repeatable decisions and results” and uncover “hidden insights” through learning from historical relationships and trends in the data.

Machine Learning Methods:-

  • Supervised machine learning algorithms can apply what has been learned in the past to new data using labeled examples to predict future events.
  • Unsupervised machine learning algorithms are used when the information used to train is neither classified nor labeled. Unsupervised learning studies how systems can infer a function to describe a hidden structure from unlabeled data.
  • Semi-supervised machine learning algorithms fall somewhere in between supervised and unsupervised learning since they use both labeled and unlabeled data for training – typically a small amount of labeled data and a large amount of unlabeled data. The systems that use this method are able to considerably improve learning accuracy.
  • Reinforcement machine learning algorithms is a learning method that interacts with its environment by producing actions and discovers errors or rewards. Trial and error search and delayed reward are the most relevant characteristics of reinforcement learning.

Let’s Start With Its Applications

Image Recognition

One of the most common uses of machine learning is image recognition. There are many situations where you can classify the object as a digital image. For digital images, the measurements describe the outputs of each pixel in the image.

In the case of a black and white image, the intensity of each pixel serves as one measurement. So if a black and white image has N*N pixels, the total number of pixels and hence measurement is N2.

In the colored image, each pixel considered as providing 3 measurements to the intensities of 3 main color components ie RGB. So N*N colored image there are 3 N2 measurements.

  • For face detection – The categories might be face versus no face present. There might be a separate category for each person in a database of several individuals.
  • For character recognition – We can segment a piece of writing into smaller images, each containing a single character.  The categories might consist of the 26 letters of the English alphabet, the 10 digits, and some special characters.
Speech Recognition

Speech recognition is the translation of spoken words into text. It is also known as “Automatic Speech Recognition” (ASR), “computer speech recognition”, or “speech to text” (STT).

In speech recognition, a software application recognizes spoken words. The measurements in this application might be a set of numbers that represent the speech signal. We can segment the signal into portions that contain distinct words or phonemes. In each segment, we can represent the speech signal by the intensities or energy in different time-frequency bands.

Speech recognition applications include voice user interfaces. Voice user interfaces are such as voice dialing, call routing, domotic appliance control. It can also use as simple data entry, preparation of structured documents, speech-to-text processing, and plane.

Medical Diagnosis

Machine Learning provides methods, techniques, and tools that can help solving diagnostic and prognostic problems in a variety of medical domains. It is being used for the analysis of the importance of clinical parameters and of their combinations for prognosis, e.g. prediction of disease progression, for the extraction of medical knowledge for outcomes research, for therapy planning and support, and for overall patient management. Machine Learning is also being used for data analysis, such as detection of regularities in the data by appropriately dealing with imperfect data, interpretation of continuous data used in the Intensive Care Unit, and for intelligent alarming resulting in effective and efficient monitoring.

Virtual Personal Assistants

Cortana, Siri, Alexa, Google Now are some of the popular examples of virtual personal assistants. As the name suggests, they assist in finding information, when asked over voice. All you need to do is activate them and ask “What is my schedule for today?”, “What are the flights from Kolkata to Delhi”, or similar questions. For answering, your personal assistant looks out for the information, recalls your related queries, or send a command to other resources (like phone apps) to collect info. You can even instruct assistants for certain tasks like “Set an alarm for 6 AM next morning”, “Remind me to visit Visa Office day after tomorrow”.

Machine learning is an important part of these personal assistants as they collect and refine the information on the basis of your previous involvement with them. Later, this set of data is utilized to render results that are tailored to your preferences.

Predictions

Traffic Predictions: We all have been using GPS navigation services. While we do that, our current locations and velocities are being saved at a central server for managing traffic. This data is then used to build a map of current traffic. While this helps in preventing the traffic and does congestion analysis, the underlying problem is that there is less number of cars that are equipped with GPS. Machine learning in such scenarios helps to estimate the regions where congestion can be found on the basis of daily experiences.

Online Transportation Networks: When booking a cab, the app estimates the price of the ride. When sharing these services, how do they minimize the detours? The answer is machine learning. Jeff Schneider, the engineering lead at Uber ATC reveals in an interview that they use ML to define price surge hours by predicting the rider demand. In the entire cycle of the services, ML is playing a major role.

Videos Surveillance

The video surveillance system nowadays is powered by AI that makes it possible to detect crime before they happen. They track the unusual behavior of people like standing motionless for a long time, stumbling, or napping on benches etc. The system can thus give an alert to human attendants, which can ultimately help to avoid mishaps. And when such activities are reported and counted to be true, they help to improve the surveillance services. This happens with machine learning doing its job at the backend.

Face Recognition

You upload a picture of you with a friend and Facebook instantly recognizes that friend. Facebook checks the poses and projections in the picture, notice the unique features, and then match them with the people on your friend list. The entire process at the backend is complicated and takes care of the precision factor but seems to be a simple application of ML at the front end.

Email Spam and Malware Filtering

There are a number of spam filtering approaches that email clients use. To ascertain that these spam filters are continuously updated, they are powered by machine learning. When rule-based spam filtering is done, it fails to track the latest tricks adopted by spammers. Multi-Layer Perceptron, C 4.5 Decision Tree Induction are some of the spam filtering techniques that are powered by ML.

Online Customer Support

A number of websites nowadays offer the option to chat with customer support representative while they are navigating around the site. However, not every website has a live executive to answer your queries. In most of the cases, you talk to a chatbot. These bots tend to extract information from the website and present it to the customers. Meanwhile, the chatbots advance with time. They tend to understand the user queries better and serve them with better answers, which is possible due to its machine learning algorithms.

Search Engine Result Refining

Google and other search engines use machine learning to improve the search results for you. Every time you execute a search, the algorithms at the backend keep a watch at how you respond to the results. If you open the top results and stay on the web page for long, the search engine assumes that the results it displayed were in accordance with the query. Similarly, if you reach the second or third page of the search results but do not open any of the results, the search engine estimates that the results served did not match requirement. This way, the algorithms working on the backend improve the search results.

Product Recommendations

You shopped for a product online a few days back and then you keep receiving emails for shopping suggestions. If not this, then you might have noticed that the shopping website or the app recommends you some items that somehow matches your taste. Certainly, this refines the shopping experience but did you know that it’s machine learning doing the magic for you? On the basis of your behavior with the website/app, past purchases, items liked or added to cart, brand preferences etc., the product recommendations are made.

Online Fraud Detection

Machine learning is proving its potential to make cyberspace a secure place and tracking monetary frauds online is one of its examples. For example, Paypal is using ML for protection against money laundering. The company uses a set of tools that helps them to compare millions of transactions taking place and distinguish between legitimate or illegitimate transactions taking place between the buyers and sellers.

Sources – Wikipedia, medium.com

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