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Why are algorithms important for machine learning?

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Machine learning is a vast subject by itself, and also an integral part of artificial intelligence technologies. Simply put, machine learning is when computers, do not require complex and explicit programming to perform specified tasks at hand. Machine learning processes are self-reliant, and fresh data can be processed successfully to learn, develop, fine-tune, and evolve to highly efficient systems, that can surpass their previous performance, for the most favorable outcomes.

In such scenarios, algorithms can be termed to be, sets of instructions that allow the machines to learn, develop, and function, optimally. The main benefits of machine learning processes are the cost-effective solutions that are executed perfectly, without human intervention. Algorithms allow machines to follow, sets of instructions to perform tasks; algorithms also help the machines choose and decide which set of instructions can yield better results.

Different types of machine learning

This predictive nature of machine learning is the most advantageous, based on sifting through vast amounts of relevant and reliable data. Businesses across the industries are streamlining their processes to enable machines to carry out tasks, efficiently and with shorter turnaround times. This level of autonomy is highly desirable in today’s fast-paced lives worldwide, and is, therefore, becoming one of the most popular technologies for businesses across industries. 

Although machine learning is often confused and used incorrectly, it is prudent to note that machine learning is a subcategory of AI and not an interchangeable term, as many would like to believe. Predictive analysis and/or predictive modelling are interchangeable terms for machine learning. 

Machine learning can be categorized into four groups, which are, supervised, semi-supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement. Supervised learning refers to machine learning through examples, which has been fed by an operator. This is usually a known dataset which the machine must streamline for the right outputs. The machine has to streamline the data, for accurate observations and predictions, which can be corrected by the operator.

Semi-supervised machine learning refers to tagged, as well as untagged datasets being fed to the system; this enables the machine to learn how to categorize and segregate data efficiently for the maximum output.

An unsupervised machine learning process, allows the system to notice and track patterns. The machine achieves this by analyzing existing datasets, and categorizing data to describe patterns, giving it structure and relevance. Through trial and error, this system of machine learning uses clustering and dimension reduction to find the most pertinent information for the process. 

Reinforcement learning for the machine learning process is when the algorithm is provided with the set of actions, ends values, and the parameters. Since these variables are already defined, the algorithm can then try various permutations and combinations to find the best possible outcome for the process.

The significance of machine learning

Machine learning has impacted all industries with advanced digitalization and is the key to processing the immeasurable quantities of data, accurately and within a shorter time frame, than can be expected with human output. The main objective of machine learning is to enable seamless performance, no matter the industry, to analyze complex data faultlessly, to reduce potential risk and increase chances of profitable opportunities, with the best and cost-effective measures in place. The same output cannot be expected and would require years to deliver similar results, if at all when human errors and miscalculations are taken into account.

Applications of machine learning

Almost all industries are benefitting from the advanced digitalization, as they can segregate data, efficiently. The governments and industries such as healthcare, marketing and sales sectors, transportation, e-commerce and many others will be handicapped, considering the heavy reliance on machine learned processes, which not just helps spot potential risks, before its onset, but also find the best solutions, to overcome the anticipated hurdles. 

Healthcare: This industry has benefitted immensely from such technologies. Devices and systems that measure heart rate, oxygen and sugar levels, and also sleep patterns have now simplified patient diagnosis significantly, and also allow doctors to better assess their patients’ cases and offer the most reliable and viable solutions. Algorithms are crucial, as it can be customized to detect cancer and other debilitating illnesses, ahead of time, significantly improving the patients’ chances of making a full recovery, which until now, could only be imagined. Also, data management and sorting are imperative, with healthcare records containing sensitive information, which can adversely affect many, if leaked. Algorithms are the key to data security and management for the desired outcomes. 

Sales and Marketing: This industry has seen a massive shift in tide after AI and machine learning processes have been implemented. Superior technologies are constantly evolving to offer optimal customer experience and support, boosting business opportunities far and wide. In measurable aspects, it is believed that customer and user experiences, alongside support, has improved by ten per cent already in the last decade of technological progress, and this is considered to be just the tip of the iceberg.  

Social Media and E-commerce: The very existence of these industries are based upon AI and machine learning technologies, without which, it would be impossible to sift through the massive quantities of data, pertinent to streamlining the sites’ performances, by offering customized user experiences, based on past performance and preferences, and also deliver targeted marketing content for the right audience. 

Government: Taking into consideration the severe dependency on AI-powered technologies and machine learning systems, the governments across the globe will cease to function without the crucial management. The rapid evolvement of various conditions and challenges worldwide cannot be tackled without superior systems with the latest technologies to assimilate, analyze and track the relevant data. 

Government officials can expect enhanced cybersecurity, intelligence and defence, counter-terrorism practices, increased potential opportunities, trading, predictive maintenance, logistical management, and honing operational preparedness with lowered failure rates. The ever-evolving algorithms have enabled governments to plan and strategize the most cost-effective and economical management with high return rates for every venture it undertakes. 

Superior performance due to AI and machine learning devices have been observed across the logistics, supply chain management, manufacturing and processing industries, and the oil and gas industries to name a few.

Designing and applying efficient algorithms

Although it is true that without proper algorithms, most of the world, as we know today, may cease to function, it is prudent and pertinent to note that, just algorithms are not enough. The challenge lies in designing and applying efficient ones that offer faster solutions with minimal memory usage. The key goal of creating the most efficient systems, therefore, lies with its computational power and time. Algorithms are supposed to handle up to a 100,000, or more queries per second; while the significance may not be perceptible with lower volume tasks, the effect cannot be denied when considering the small incremental changes in efficiency that add up over time. 

Therefore, it can be said that the effects of efficient algorithms can be felt primarily with resource usage and management. The effects can be directly correlated to faster and more economical hardware that is easier to maintain, and require minimal resources to support. 

The main factor for growth and development across all sectors can be tied to superior algorithms, with efficient machine learning systems and process worldwide, to ensure data capture, assimilation, analyses, processing and finally, applications in the best capacity for optimal performance. It is hard to fathom a world without the right algorithms, boosting technologies for various machine learning processes and AI powered systems to improve, establish, and customize, higher standards of living, across the globe. 

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Anurag

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