What is Machine Learning and Why Does it Matter

By Katie Foley 

Machine learning is at the heart of artificial intelligence and the future of technology as we know it. It is the compilation of data and statistics that enables a program or machine to learn how to perform a task, complete a problem, or recognize patterns. 

Although machine learning is quickly revolutionizing our computer, smart phones, and even our video games, it's nothing new. Just two years after Alan Turing invented the "Turing Test" to determine whether or not a machine has real intelligence in 1950, Arthur Samuel wrote the first computer program that was capable of learning, according to Forbes. Samuel programmed a game of checkers that improved the more it was played by studying winning strategies. 

Machine Learning in the Modern World

Since Samuel wrote his program in 1952, machine learning has evolved into the foundation of today's technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) is all around us. Machine learning is the basis for facial recognition software, spellcheck, as well as spam filters and even the advertisements you see online. You can also find AI technology in video games, especially if you are practicing against a computer or "bot" in a fighting or racing game. Chatbots, such as Cleverbot, are another prime example of machine learning. 

The Importance of Machine Learning

Machine learning is incredibly valuable and practically unavoidable at this point in our society. It is advanced technology that opens the floodgates for futuristic technology, such as self driving cars, that had been dismissed as the works of sci-fi and fiction rather than a reality prior to the 21st century. Machine learning also encourages advanced cyber security, such as more comprehensive fraud detection and protection. It is already being utilized by advertisers to show you ads that line up with your interests, what you follow on social media, the websites you visit, as well as what you search for on Google. 

Although machine learning is rapidly paving the way for innovation, it certainly isn't a new concept and it's not going away any time soon. Machine learning allows us to have smart technology such as spellcheck, facial recognition, and spam filters.

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Topics: Technology, ERP

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