What is machine learning? - IgbohoConnect

Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science that utilizes data and algorithms to mimic how people learn, progressively improving its accuracy.


Machine learning is a critical component of the rapidly expanding discipline of data science. Algorithms are taught to generate classifications or predictions using statistical approaches, revealing crucial insights in data mining initiatives. These insights then influence decision making within applications and enterprises, ideally influencing key growth indicators. As big data expands and grows, so will the market demand for data scientists, who will be required to aid in the identification of the most important business issues and, later, the data to answer them.

Machine Learning vs. Deep Learning vs. Neural Networks


Because deep learning and machine learning are often used interchangeably, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. Artificial intelligence includes the subfields of machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks. Deep learning, on the other hand, is a subfield of machine learning, while neural networks are a subfield of deep learning.

The difference between deep learning and machine learning is in how each algorithm learns. Deep learning automates most of the feature extraction process, removing some of the manual human interaction and allowing for the usage of bigger data sets.


Labeled datasets, also known as supervised learning, can be used to inform “deep” machine learning algorithms, but they are not required. It can take unstructured data in its raw form (e.g., text, photos) and automatically find the set of characteristics that differentiate distinct types of data. It does not require human interaction to interpret data, unlike machine learning, allowing us to scale machine learning in more exciting ways. Deep learning and neural networks are often recognized with hastening development in fields such as computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition.


Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are made up of node layers that include an input layer, one or more hidden layers, and an output layer. Each node, or artificial neuron, is linked to another and has its own weight and threshold. If the output of any particular node exceeds the given threshold value, that node is activated and begins transferring data to the network’s next tier. Otherwise, no data is sent to the next network layer. The term “deep learning” simply refers to the number of layers in a neural network. A neural network that consists of more than three layers—which would be inclusive of the inputs and the output—can be considered a deep learning algorithm or a deep neural network. A neural network that only has two or three layers is just a basic neural network.

How machine learning works

Machine learning is broken down to the learning system of a machine learning algorithm into three main parts.

A Decision Process: Machine learning algorithms are often used to create a prediction or classification. Your algorithm will provide an estimate about a pattern in the data based on some input data, which can be labeled or unlabeled.

An Error Function: An error function is used to evaluate the model’s prediction. If there are known instances, an error function can compare them to determine the model’s correctness.

A Model Optimization Method: If the model fits the data points in the training set better, the weights are modified to lessen the difference between the known example and the model prediction. The algorithm will repeat this assess and optimize procedure, automatically updating weights until the accuracy level is satisfied.

Machine learning methods

Machine learning classifiers fall into three primary categories.

Machine learning with supervision

Supervised learning, often known as supervised machine learning, is distinguished by the use of labeled datasets to train algorithms that reliably categorize data or predict outcomes. As input data is entered into the model, the weights are adjusted until the model is well fitted. This is done as part of the cross validation procedure to verify that the model does not overfit or underfit. Supervised learning assists enterprises in solving a wide range of real-world issues on a large scale, such as categorizing spam in a distinct folder from your email. Neural networks, naive bayes, linear regression, logistic regression, random forest, support vector machine (SVM), and other approaches are used in supervised learning.

Machine learning without supervision

Unsupervised learning, also known as unsupervised machine learning, analyzes and clusters unlabeled information using machine learning techniques. Without the need for human interaction, these algorithms uncover hidden patterns or data groupings. Its capacity to detect similarities and contrasts in data makes it a great tool for exploratory data analysis, cross-selling techniques, consumer segmentation, picture and pattern recognition. It is also used to reduce the number of features in a model through the process of dimensionality reduction; two typical techniques for this are principal component analysis (PCA) and singular value decomposition (SVD). Other unsupervised learning techniques include neural networks, k-means clustering, probabilistic clustering approaches, and others.

Learning that is semi-supervised

Semi-supervised learning provides a comfortable middle ground between supervised and unsupervised learning. It employs a smaller labeled data set to aid classification and feature extraction from a larger, unlabeled data set during training. Semi-supervised learning can address the issue of not having enough labeled data (or not being able to finance labeling enough data) to train a supervised learning algorithm.

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