Machine Learning – The master and the apprentice

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Machine Learning – The master and the apprentice

The what…

The majority of you reading this will be in your adult years yet what follows below will educate some or develop and transform theories others have been developing over the past few years.

Let’s take a step back. Way back…

A long time ago in a college far, far away. It’s your graduation day congratulations, you’ve made it!

No more revising, no more surprise test and no more 2 hour lectures! You’ve done everything you can to prepare yourself for the big wide world ahead. You are officially done with educating yourself.

Right?

Close to a decade after graduating, I haven’t gone a day without learning something new and teaching myself new and exciting ways of absorbing knowledge.

You may be someone who learns best by cramming all of your revision and preparation for the night before your big day. Others will utilize the time they are given. Some thrive in taking down thousands of lines of notes and absorbing the information. I on the other-hand am a very visual person who learns through taking the theories in front of him and applying them to real world scenarios or acting them out myself. Once I have observed the process in real life, it’s stored in my mind. Being able to refer back to the process I observed or carried out myself gives me the ability to find a more streamlined and productive route for solving a problem or getting from A to B.

As humans, we have developed an endless plethora of theories as to how we can teach ourselves and others to absorb and utilize the information we are presented with.

Can the same be and applied to machines?

Machine learning has boomed over the past few years becoming a go to buzz word for pretty much every industry when discussing the future of technology.

So what is machine learning?

Machine learning is the science of developing computers to autonomously learn without being programmed. Effectively creating a snowball effect for what it can absorb, once a computer has been taught to learn, it can essentially learn new methods of learning resulting in more data being collected, analyzed and outputted.

What do computers currently do?

Traditionally, we use computers to input data, command it to transform this information in a way we could only dream of in such a short time and present it in the form of a specific output. Using advanced statistic applications, programmers teach computers to learn/solve problems leading them to autonomously identify data patterns and predictions. The data we initially inputted into our computers can be analyzed and presented back to us with far deeper and advanced results in terms of analysis and predictions on what can happen next.

Can humans do this? Yes.

Can they do it as good? No.

The reason being is our ability to process large amounts of data and command computers to present our results is limited due to how fast our brains act and how long we can do this for. Machines will be able to process more information quicker and effectively non stop (machines do not have personal lives and out of work commitments like we do) with higher quality outputs in terms of analysis and the next steps.

As we have learnt, our current methods of computer use will not develop a computer into learning how to carry out tasks autonomously no matter how many times we repeat them. With machine learning, we will be able to teach computers to learn what process has been carried out and develop a better process in the future without the need for human programming.

The where…

Today, almost every industry is using machine learning or have plans in the pipeline to utilize this technology in the near future.

Retail

  • Predicting costumer lifetime value and ROI
  • Upsell and cross-channel marketing through market segmentation & targeting
  • Streamlining supply chain processes
  • Optimizing marketing and branding through historic data and real-time analysis of customer habits

Healthcare

  • Real-time alerts & diagnosis
  • Future patient predictions through historic data & lifestyle analysis
  • Predictions in health issues spreading

Financial Services

  • Risk analysis
  • Applicant approvals
  • Security & fraud detection

The above are a small handful of industries and uses. Having the ability to analyze huge amounts of historic and real-time data will give you the ability to mould strategies based on reliable computer analysis.

With China planning to launch its Social Credit System in 2020, the inputting and analysis of its 1.3 billion residents information on a daily basis is a job only fit for a computer. Creating a national trust score based on who you are, who your friends are, where you live, where you work, how much you earn, what you spend it on, if and when you pay your bills, which social circles you associate with and much (much) more will amplify the nations IoT (Internet of Things) like never before. Being able to analyze this amount of data can only be carried out by machines in real-time. Analyzing civilian habits and trends will allow the authorities to predict and plan for what may happen in the future.

What now?

Some of you may be thinking that machine learning technology will not happen for years to come.

Good news – it’s here, all around us and been used for years. Take your email spam folders. Machine learning has developed your email filters to stay clean and block those irritating malicious emails. Go into your social media page or your smart phone gallery and you’ll notice a folder called “people” – your phone will automatically detect faces that appear in your photos and categorize them for you. This is done through facial recognition software that has been taught to learn what a face looks like and how to detect that same face over and over. Your social media page allows you to tag people – ever notice recommended friends appear when doing this before you have begun typing their name? Imagine the possibilities for the authorities through the use of the incredibly high number of CCTV cameras that capture us every time we leave our homes.

Will we be seeing machine learning more and more in the future? Yes. We’re confident that this technology will continue to penetrate industries due to the limitless applications and and possibilities. This really is an exciting step forward for all of us. The security levels that protect us will become stronger with this technology.

In my previous blog piece, I cover Application Security and Artificial Intelligence through the advancements in technology. Machine learning and security go hand in hand but are you prepared for what the future holds?

Let us guide you.

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