Is machine learning magic?

Saturday, 30 July, 2016

That’s the question posed by Adam Geitgey, a “guy who does @programminglanguage at @company.” What is machine learning? Adam Geitgey defines it thus:

Machine learning is the idea that there are generic algorithms that can tell you something interesting about a set of data without you having to write any custom code specific to the problem. Instead of writing code, you feed data to the generic algorithm and it builds its own logic based on the data.

“Machine Learning is Fun!” says Adam Geitgey in what he describes as “The world’s easiest introduction to Machine Learning.”

How is this stuff related to the real world? Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai devoted much of Thursday’s second-quarter earnings call to the two “Ms” — the mobility that is Alphabet’s present and the machine learning that is its future. Quote:

“Machine learning is the engine that will drive our future, but it is already making our products better, and we use it every day. In fact, more than 100 teams are currently using machine learning, from StreetView to Gmail to voice search and more.”

Make that three Ms: magic, mobility, machine learning.

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