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What is machine learning?

Aaron Xie

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

In simple terms, machine learning is the use of massive amounts of data to answer complex questions.

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that seeks to analyze patterns in data to advance decision-making and learning. Though we might not notice machine learning, it’s everywhere in our lives. When we browse sites like Netflix or YouTube, we are recommended certain videos and shows to watch. That’s machine learning! Companies like Amazon or Google are also creating smart speakers that utilize machine learning, e.g., Siri, to become our personal assistants.

So, how does it work? Machine learning involves gathering a massive amount of data and using it to train and fine-tune a model. As more data is collected, we can develop newer, better predictive models so that the model is increasingly accurate.

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Why is machine learning important?

People and devices continuously generate data,​ and they aren’t stopping anytime soon. Data is the life of all businesses because it allows us to automate tasks and make data-driven decisions, which, in turn, eases our everyday lives.

Before, people had to analyze data to make decisions manually. However, as the amount of data in this world expands, it’s increasingly important to utilize AI and machine learning to capture data fully.

How and why should you become a machine learning engineer? Check out our machine learning blog post.

How is machine learning used?

Machine learning is very literally everywhere. It’s wherever data is being used and analyzed. For example, Google utilizes machine learning for its GPS navigation services or its search engine. Another application is image detection or fraud detection, which is often used by many financial holdings companies.

The use of machine learning has also exploded in the health industry. It is being used to detect health problems and make quick diagnoses. For example, health professionals use data on past skin cancer patients to develop a model that helps identify current patients with skin cancer. The potential for machine learning is boundless.

How can I begin learning?

If you are looking to learn ML, you should learn how to use a platform like PyTorch, which is a software application popular for implementing machine learning algorithms.

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machine learning
deep learning
ai

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Aaron Xie
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.