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Monday, March 07, 2016

A History of Machine Learning. What is Machine Learning?

Bernard Marr in Fortune: A short history of Machine Learning.   This certainly alerts managers to the direction and speed of how this area is starting to move.   The examples shown are excellent.

My only caution is that 'learning' has two parts, first the ability to find pattern in data and store it away.  And second how to find and extract that data in a given context  and then reapply it to  improve some real world work or decision.    AI some people call it.

So one example given,  inventing a clustering algorithm, is a clever and useful thing.    It has many applications from marketing to manufacturing. The Checkers and Chess playing methods cited used forms of pattern recognition, but these are trivial compared to say, understanding and directing the operation of a company's supply chain operations.

So I caution.  Just like in humans.  Just because we learn, and computers can learn much more and much faster,  does not mean we can now directly solve every problem.  Machine learning is primarily a set of very useful component tools.   Often to augment human decision making.    And even sometimes to replace them.   But much work is yet required.

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