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Machine learning is a vital part of the Internet of Things. From self-driving cars to talking with Alexa, machine learning plays a part in today and future tech.
The only problem is you hear the term mentioned, but what is it? How does it work? More importantly, how does it have the power to transform our daily lives?
As complex as the concept might be, it’s actually easy to understand. In fact, you probably already interact with it in some way.
What Is Machine Learning?
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are often used interchangeably, but machine learning is actually just a form of AI. Machine learning is a concept that means machines should be able to gather data, analyze it, learn from it and then adapt to changing circumstances.
For instance, those personalized recommendations from Amazon are a form of machine learning. The more you browse and shop, the better those recommendations become. This is because Amazon is learning from your interactions. Recommendations change based on your activity.
Machine learning comes in three forms, with each being used for different types of applications. The three main types include:
Supervised – Machines start with training data to speed along the learning process.
Unsupervised – Machines must learn from unstructured data.
Reinforcement – This more complex approach uses an award system to help machines learn.
Why The Sudden Popularity?
Believe it or not, machine learning isn’t anything new. However, businesses and devices are able to collect far more data than ever before thanks to the Internet. Plus, cloud-based data centers make it easier to store and process the large amounts of data coming in every single day. Before, machine learning was drastically limited based on the available information. Now, the sky’s the limit.
How Does It Benefit You?
The benefits alone could go on for thousands of words. Currently, personalizing experiences and the growth of IoT are the two most obvious benefits.
When it comes to personalization, think about things like recommendations on ecommerce sites, interacting with chatbots and having Siri or Cortana helping you plan your day. While overall, personalization isn’t one of the biggest benefits, it’s the one you tend to notice the most often.
The rapid growth of IoT is also becoming noticeable. Thanks to machine learning, these devices are able to learn and adapt faster. Plus, machine learning is also being used to close up security loopholes in IoT devices. This means your smart home system isn’t nearly as easy to hack.
How Is Machine Learning Being Used?
The great thing about machine learning is it isn’t limited to a single industry or type of product. In fact, all major industries are using it in some form. For instance, the health care industry uses machine learning to gather data through wearables and predict health problems before they become serious issues. This drastically improves the chance of an early diagnosis for serious ailments.
The transportation industry analyzes traffic patterns and problems to create more efficient routes and make the roads safer. Data is constantly being collected about people, whether it’s attached to an individual or completely anonymous. Industries are taking advantage to be more competitive, offer better products/services, be more secure and offer better overall user experiences.
If you want to see machine learning in action, see Wordstream’s list of popular companies using machine learning right now. You’ll instantly recognize industry giants like Yelp, Facebook and Google. DeZyre also has their own list, which is far more in-depth. They’re list focuses on machine learning applications in different industries, along with the benefits of each use.
While machine learning isn’t the only branch of AI, it’s quickly becoming one of the most useful for innovative products and services. As technology continues to advance, machine learning will be a major component that fuels those advancements.