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May 16, 2016updated 16 Aug 2022 10:15am

What is machine learning?

Everyone is talking about it, but do you really know what machine learning is and what’s here for?

By Joao Lima

Machine learning is all about process optimisation. With this type of artificial intelligence discipline, machines and other electronic devices are able to learn on the go and adjust their behaviour to make production more efficient. This could go from increasing or reducing processes, to changing operation times.

It is a method of data analysis that uses algorithms to learn about hidden information about a machine, process or service. However, contrasting with traditional systems, a machine learning system is not programmed beforehand to find those hidden information data sets. It learns as it goes.

A machine learning system can only be successful once those algorithms are indeed learning new information autonomously without the need for human intervention or assistance.

The algorithms used in machine learning are often labelled as supervised and unsupervised.

Supervised learning algorithms is when the algorithm generates a function that maps inputs to desired outputs. As for unsupervised learning algorithms, these model a set of inputs.

Other types of machine learning algorithms include semi-supervised learning, reinforcement learning, transduction and learning to learn.

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