According to Stanford University’s definition, Machine Learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed.
Through evolution, machine learning has made self-driving car possible, enabled smart phones to do speech recognition, and effectively optimized our web search experience. Machine learning has grown to be so sophisticated today, that it could even understand human text!
Image credit of www.cs.toronto.edu
Machine learning and pattern recognition can be viewed as two facets of the same field. (Wikipedia) In layman terms, it is how computers are programmed to recognise similar patterns or repeated behaviour that occured over a period of time. Using the knowledge learnt from previous behaviours, the computer is able to predict sets of behaviours that might occur when a similar past phenomenon happens.
Machine learning has been integrated into our daily life with or without us noticing. Ever notice how related advertisements are being served to us after visiting certain websites? Machine learning of consumer behaviour has brought online marketing and advertising ROI to new heights. Search engines and other agencies track and monitor the links you click or the contents you search on the internet, and subsequently process the information to serve advertisements that are related to your search query or one that you may be interested in. Studies have shown that behaviour advertising campaigns receive twice as much click-through-rate than usual!
Machine learning is also used in email spam detection. Google and Yahoo Mails filter out emails with certain keywords that appears frequently in spam emails. The system recognise, analyse and remembers the words and content of emails that are marked as spammed by the user and utilizes the knowledge to filter out possible spam mails.
On another personal note, our smart phones that we can’t live without, are all equipped with sophisticated machine learning ability. If you’re a Android user, you might have noticed Google prompting you to log down a certain place that you frequent as your work place or home. Thereafter, you may receive information cards from Google about the current traffic conditions to your work place, and/or directions for taking the public transport home. Automatic speech recognition functions that are capable of deciphering speech to text such as Siris, Cortana and Ok Google are all powered by machine learning technology.
Other possible applications include:
– Automated Security Verification (voice, face, fingerprint recognition)
– Automated Medical diagnostics (detecting illnesses from symptoms)
– Content Categorization (text, image, video)
– Pattern mining (stock market analysis, technical analysis of stock price)
– Natural Language Processing (sentiment analysis, searcher’s intent, statistical machine translation)
Twinword provides Human Text Understanding APIs that are powered by Machine Learning and Smart NLP Technology. Visit our API demo page to find out more!
P.S. If you are interested in how machine learning technology can be applied to the financial sector, please visit this post.