Machine learning, a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI), is becoming more prevalent in both industry and in people’s homes and is currently changing and simplifying the way we work, live, travel, and communicate. Here’s how machine learning will change the world as we know it.
Defining Machine Learning
Considered by many to be the driving force behind AI, machine learning is the ability of a computer to self-teach and improve its performance of a specified task over time. Through analysing large amounts of data, machine learning extracts information and uses it to make predictions, interpret whether the prediction was correct, and if not, learning from that to make a more accurate prediction in future.
How Machine Learning is Affecting Industry
Many see machine learning as bittersweet as it has the ability to automate a large portion of skilled labour, but the degree to which this affects the workforce depends largely on how intricate the job is. Machine learning currently only allows for the automation of a single task, while much skilled labour requires multitasking on a level which isn’t currently possible with machine learning.
Machine learning is beneficial to the education system as it has the ability to create individual study plans specific to each student’s needs. Test results can also be analysed by algorithms, cutting down the workload of the teacher, and the student’s academic history can help identify knowledge gaps.
Law firms – much like NZ betting – are increasingly turning to machine learning in order to process and interpret large amounts of data related to legal proceedings.
For example, J.P. Morgan makes use of a program called COIN which can review documents and past cases in seconds versus the 360,000 hours it would take a human to do.
Manual and Skilled Labor
Tasks which were once performed by trained workers are becoming increasingly mechanised, especially ones which involve some element of risk or danger, such as factory work or mining. As such, machines are increasingly taking the place of labour, however the human ability to rapidly problem-solve isn’t something machines are capable of just yet.
While machine learning is already being used for faster patient diagnosis, it may also come in handy when it comes to the prevention of potential illness.
Programs are used to analyse the potential health problems a patient may be vulnerable to based on socio-economic status, age, and genetic history.
It is expected that within the next decade the majority of our shipping and rail networks will be controlled autonomously through machine learning and AI.
China is already testing driverless busses for public transport and Google and Rolls Royce have teamed up to launch the first self-driving ship by 2020.
The automation of our home lives is already occurring and one only has to consider Amazon’s Echo and Alexa for voice-activated control of your smart home in order to prove this point.
It has even become possible to connect your fridge to the internet so that you can remotely check what you’re running low on.