Machine learning (ML) is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so.
Machine learning algorithms use historical data as input to predict new output values.
Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science which focuses on the use of data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, gradually improving its accuracy.
Machine learning is an important component of the growing field of data science. Through the use of statistical methods, algorithms are trained to make classifications or predictions, and to uncover key insights in data mining projects. These insights subsequently drive decision making within applications and businesses, ideally impacting key growth metrics. As big data continues to expand and grow, the market demand for data scientists will increase. They will be required to help identify the most relevant business questions and the data to answer them.
Machine learning algorithms are typically created using frameworks that accelerate solution development.

How machine learning works

A Decision Process: In general, machine learning algorithms are used to make a prediction or classification. Based on some input data, which can be labeled or unlabeled, your algorithm will produce an estimate about a pattern in the data.
An Error Function: An error function evaluates the prediction of the model. If there are known examples, an error function can make a comparison to assess the accuracy of the model.
A Model Optimization Process: If the model can fit better to the data points in the training set, then weights are adjusted to reduce the discrepancy between the known example and the model estimate. The algorithm will repeat this “evaluate and optimize” process, updating weights autonomously until a threshold of accuracy has been met.

Machine learning methods

Supervised machine learning:
Supervised learning, also known as supervised machine learning, is defined by its use of labeled datasets to train algorithms to classify data or predict outcomes accurately. As input data is fed into the model, the model adjusts its weights until it has been fitted appropriately. This occurs as part of the cross validation process to ensure that the model avoids overfitting or underfitting. Supervised learning helps organizations solve a variety of real-world problems at scale, such as classifying spam in a separate folder from your inbox. Some methods used in supervised learning include neural networks, naïve bayes, linear regression, logistic regression, random forest, and support vector machine (SVM).
Unsupervised machine learning:
Unsupervised learning, also known as unsupervised machine learning, uses machine learning algorithms to analyze and cluster unlabeled datasets. These algorithms discover hidden patterns or data groupings without the need for human intervention. This method’s ability to discover similarities and differences in information make it ideal for exploratory data analysis, cross-selling strategies, customer segmentation, and image and pattern recognition. It’s also used to reduce the number of features in a model through the process of dimensionality reduction. Principal component analysis (PCA) and singular value decomposition (SVD) are two common approaches for this. Other algorithms used in unsupervised learning include neural networks, k-means clustering, and probabilistic clustering methods.
Semi-supervised learning:
Semi-supervised learning offers a happy medium between supervised and unsupervised learning. During training, it uses a smaller labeled data set to guide classification and feature extraction from a larger, unlabeled data set. Semi-supervised learning can solve the problem of not having enough labeled data for a supervised learning algorithm. It also helps if it’s too costly to label enough data.

Common machine learning algorithms

Neural networks: Neural networks simulate the way the human brain works, with a huge number of linked processing nodes. Neural networks are good at recognizing patterns and play an important role in applications including natural language translation, image recognition, speech recognition, and image creation.
Linear regression: This algorithm is used to predict numerical values, based on a linear relationship between different values. For example, the technique could be used to predict house prices based on historical data for the area.
Logistic regression: This supervised learning algorithm makes predictions for categorical response variables, such as“yes/no” answers to questions. It can be used for applications such as classifying spam and quality control on a production line.
Clustering: Using unsupervised learning, clustering algorithms can identify patterns in data so that it can be grouped. Computers can help data scientists by identifying differences between data items that humans have overlooked.
Decision trees: Decision trees can be used for both predicting numerical values (regression) and classifying data into categories. Decision trees use a branching sequence of linked decisions that can be represented with a tree diagram. One of the advantages of decision trees is that they are easy to validate and audit, unlike the black box of the neural network.
Random forests: In a random forest, the machine learning algorithm predicts a value or category by combining the results from a number of decision trees.

Challenges of machine learning

  • Technological singularity.
  • AI impact on jobs.
  • Privacy.
  • Bias and discrimination.
  • Accountability.