Machine learning, in addition to artificial intelligence (AI) in general, remains one of the most important innovations affecting all aspects of the technology world – and beyond. It plays a key role in helping a data mining process make actionable sense out of massive amounts of Big Data, as well as assisting a teacher in better educating their students. This is one tech area everyone in the industry needs to understand.
What follows is a high-level overview of machine learning so you are better prepared for its impacts, either in your own IT career or for the long-term growth of your technology company.
It’s a Subset of Artificial Intelligence
At its essence, machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence where computer algorithms gradually learn and predict outcomes. Data is the lifeblood of these software programs, as the machine learning routines use this information as part of its “learning” process. You probably use applications that rely on the technology, like Siri, Alexa, or most chatbots.
Machine learning routines create models based on patterns found in the input data. These models evolve over time as the information fed to them changes. Typically, a machine learning system is trained with datasets before being deployed into a production environment.
Applications for Machine Learning
In addition to the virtual assistants mentioned earlier, machine learning is also making inroads throughout the overall technology world – both consumer and business. It is suitable for classification applications where a program is able to find a pattern within the text or a certain object in an image. Predictive applications are also in wide use, with one example being graphic design software able to smooth out the rough edges on sketches using a virtual pen.
Other flavors of machine learning include neural networks which are used for recognizing patterns in data. Deep learning is an expansion of neural networks useful in both image and speech recognition scenarios. Human interaction is still necessary for finding the right data to successfully train the software, or matching a compatible algorithm to the problem that needs solving.
While this only scratches the surface of a broad and deep topic, expect machine learning to grow in influence throughout the technology industry over the next decade. This is one IT area worthy of further exploration.
When you need additional insights into the constantly evolving high tech world, speaking with the team at Strategic IT Staffing makes sense. As one of the leading technical employment agencies in the country, we can help your career – or your organization – reach new levels of success. Schedule some time with us at your earliest convenience.