Ask a Data Scientist: What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning has become a popular term over the past few years. The term is often misused to invoke the idea that robots are taking over the free world but machine learning is nothing like that.

Machine learning is about exciting new developments and the ability to push industries farther ahead than you could have ever imagined. It’s about making more accurate predictions and making better decisions than you could on your own. It sounds quite complicated, but the machine learning concept is actually quite easy to understand in theory.

Understanding Machine Learning

Machine learning is the process of teaching a computer to categorize and recognize the data it has been given. Handwriting recognition is one type of machine learning application that the United States Postal Service uses every day to decipher poorly-written addresses.

The computer looks for patterns and figures out the illegible information so the mail can get to the right place. Through pattern recognition, the machine applies an algorithm and uses the data it has on file to make predictions.

Machine learning is a powerful tool. When you teach a machine how to use an algorithm to identify patterns, it can use those patterns to predict outcomes without using any pre-conceived notions or pre-programmed rules. Machines can only improve their own learning by using information it has been given, so machine learning isn’t successful unless people feed it a diverse and large enough range of data.

Of course, machine learning has its limitations too. For instance, if you’re training a machine on a facial recognition software, and you only feed it pictures of Hispanic faces, then it may not be able to identify other races. Remember in 2015 when Google’s face recognition software tagged two African American people as gorillas? It was a classic case where the computer didn’t have the right data, and it created a pattern based on what it could decipher. Machine learning takes lots of data to work correctly.

Since machine learning is the wave of the future, taking a data analytics bootcamp is a great idea for career changers and up skillers alike. Having a data analytics certificate of completion provides additional value for prospective employers, and jobs as a data scientist in machine learning are increasing more every day.

The Many Misconceptions About Machine Learning

Machine learning is powerful, but one of the first things you learn in a data analytics boot camp is that the computer is not a crystal ball. There are many misconceptions with machine learning, but the most popular fallacy is that people simply think they have enough data for accurate predictions when they do not. For machine learning to work correctly, there must be a big labeled set.

The next hurdle for effective machine learning is getting all that data into a format the computer can read. It takes a lot of work to get all the information knitted together into an algorithm that can be fed to the machine.

Why Is Machine Learning Just Now Becoming Popular?

Remember Space Odyssey in 2001? It was just one of the few movies that used machine learning as a part of its plot. Some say that the recent interest in machine learning is just a fad, but experts suggest otherwise. The beauty is that things that were once considered futuristic can now be done with ease. The only limitations are one’s imagination and the lack of training in the machine learning science.

According to an article published in Forbes Magazine, since 2012, the role of a data scientist has grown by more than 650 percent. Currently, there are only around 30,000 people that have these skills, and there are hundreds of companies looking for people with machine learning education.

Many companies are using machine learning because it puts them in a better position and gives them an advantage over their competitors. People see the benefits, yet they have no clue what’s behind it all. Machine learning is commonplace in companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. For those who want to invest themselves in a worthwhile career, they should consider that machine learning often comes with a comfortable compensation package.

To get that money requires work. You must be good at math, and you must invest yourself in proper training before you dive into machine learning. It can be challenging to teach a robot to recognize feelings, faces, and handwriting, so you need the proper training behind you. Data Analytics bootcamps are one of the best ways to learn everything you need to know about machine learning. Plus, the data analytics certificate of completion can help position you for employers to get the career opportunities you deserve. Jobs in machine learning are becoming abundant and with the right skills, you’ll have the ability to reach out and make a difference.

Is Machine Learning for You?

How do you know if a machine learning career is for you? Before you enroll in any data analytics boot camp, you need to evaluate your current skill level. Can you write a program in Python? To be able to get your data analytics certificate of completion in machine learning, you at least need to know how to code. The most commonly used machine learning algorithms are based on Python, so learning this program is essential. The magical world of code is the key to machine learning.

Machine learning isn’t for everyone but for those who have a strong desire to be a part of the wave of the future, investing in your own education is the best thing you can do. The jobs are abundant, the technology is amazing, and it’s one giant leap for mankind.

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