What does come to your mind when you hear the term “machine learning”? You might think about a computer playing chess. But, when you hear the term “artificial intelligence,” however, it’s more likely you have visions of Skynet and the rise of our inevitable android masters.
But, the truth of AI — and particularly machine learning — is far less sinister, and it isn’t a fiction, but a reality instead. It’s shaping and simplifying every facet of our workday and leisure time. In part, it is even how you came across this article.
What is machine learning?
Machine learning is one element (perhaps the driving force) of artificial intelligence, a science that researches machines to acquire new knowledge and new skills and to identify existing knowledge. In other words, it’s all about analyzing big data — the automatic extraction of information and using it to make predictions, decipher whether it was correct, and if not, learning from that experience to make a more correct prediction in the future.
Online platforms such as Amazon, YouTube, Google etc. use machine learning to deliver semantic results based on algorithms that analyze the search, purchase and viewing history of a user to predict what is it they’re looking for or more likely to want.
The data the machines/software has at their disposal is massive. According to a recent report, there are 4.39 billion people using internet in 2019. Every second, there are approximately 78,088 searches processed, which equates to 6.7 billion/day, or an incredible 2.4 trillion searches/year.
That’s an astonishing amount of data gathered every day, and it would be impossible to analyze, predict, and sort without the help of machine learning. Machine learning can do much more and is already doing; it is being increasingly integrated into industries in every sector and in every part of our lives — through the automation of manual labor, improving our connectivity, and so forth.
How machine learning is and will affect our life
I cannot mention all the ways it is currently affecting our lives and how it’ll do so in the future because it’s almost countless but I can mention a few so let’s get down to it.
Machine learning, if applied in education, can drastically change the education scene. The algorithms can be used to determine individual study plans, specific to each student’s needs. Computers can be programmed to analyze test results (thus saving the time teachers spend on grading). By tracking the attendance and academic history of the student, it can help determine gaps in knowledge and learning disabilities. All these applications do not mean that we’ll get teacher-less classrooms (though that hypothetical, exists too), but instead they will facilitate the teaching and learning environments to enhance the outcomes and ease the burden on both teacher and student.
Machine learning is already being used for faster patient diagnosis. The use of ML algorithms to analyze and cross-reference symptoms against databases containing numerous other cases has led to faster diagnoses of illness, saving lives through quicker treatment and decreasing the time a patient spends in the health system. Hospitals are currently using AI algorithms to more accurately detect tumors in radiology scans and analyze different moles for melanoma, and machine learning is being adapted to accelerate research toward a cure for cancer.
Similarly, ML and AI-equipped equipment can identify trends by analyzing environmental data and then use those insights to develop solutions for any environmental issue. For e.g., ecological experts are using ML and AI-enabled sensors to analyze data from numerous sources to make accurate pollution and weather forecasts.
Undertake Dangerous Tasks
What comes to your mind when you hear the term “Dangerous Tasks,” bomb disposal, wielding and so on. Instead of human beings carrying out these dangerous tasks, they can now be performed by Machine learning and AI-equipped equipment and that too with greater accuracy and flexibility (thanks to advancement in deep learning and computer vision) thus saving thousands of lives.
Our transport industry’s self-control is steadily becoming more reliant on machine learning and AI, and it is expected that in the very near future, the majority of our shipping and rail networks will be controlled autonomously. Driverless bus trials have been initiated all over the world in recent times most prominently in Finland, Singapore and China.
Meanwhile, Rolls Royce and Google has partnered to create smarter, autonomous ship based on AI and machine learning, it is expected to launched by ’20. By ’25, Rolls-Royce says there will be remote controlled crew-free coastal ships and by ’35, fully autonomous crew-free ocean-going ships. Several aviation companies are also putting big money into developing pilotless commercial aircraft.
More and more people are turning toward ML-integrated alarm systems and surveillance cameras to look after their homes. Artificial intelligence-integrated alarm systems and cameras use machine learning and facial recognition tech to build a catalog of frequent home visitors to detect uninvited guests instantly. There are a number of the great features too, want to be notified when the kids get home, smart home security can do it for you, want to track pets around the compound, smart home security can do it for you, and so forth. These cutting-edge systems can even call for emergency services; thus, bolstering your home’s security.
Apart from security, machine learning affects our home life in many other ways too. Amazon’s Echo and Alexa allow for the voice-activated control of our smart-home (the turning on/off lights, opening/closing of blinds, and so on, all at your command). Over the next few years, almost all the aspects of our homes will be automated. Releasing humans from housework could deliver major benefits in terms of saving time, and reducing stress.