09 08

By Nadia Zaifulizan

Machine Learning is a form of applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) that provides the ability for systems to automatically learn and improve from experience without explicitly being programmed to do so. So what kind of consequences does this mean for humanity? Let’s explore the types of impact that Machine Learning contributes.

Make new discoveries that human missed

Machine learning algorithms can be ‘trained’ with data of a specific discipline area and discover associations as well as derive future insights in the specific area that it analyses. An example of this is the Word2vec, which used machine learning to analyze relationships between words. The Word2vec was given old scientific papers to process and came out with predictions for possible thermoelectric materials years in advance, although it was not particularly trained in materials science. Because its (neural network) focus is on word associations and relationships, it is able to read and make connections that no scientists could (based on words alone).
Machine learning also commonly process a vast library of data and information at a time, compared to the average human. In the world of research there are years of past literature and dozens more latest publications weekly, in which only a fraction of may be processed by researchers. In the case of the Word2vec, 500,000 vocabulary words derived from 3.3 million abstracts were fed to it during its algorithm training, before it begins its scientific papers analysis. The capacity of machine learning for contributions in the research arena is substantial.

Speed up problem-solving

Many problem solving attempts require lengthy periods of time to execute. In the case of financial fraud, the time factor may mean more complexity in fraud detection due to the speed at which cybercriminals are able to adapt to newer requirements and circumstances. This is where machine learning is able to contribute: by applying thousands of parameters that are essentially more effective in finding small data correlations that can be virtually invisible for a common system or a human reviewer. With machine learning, neural networks are able to identify fraud in real-time based on patterns of normal behavior in transactions. Machine learning systems are able to process large data sets and detect details that may be missed.

Produce valuable insight for outcome improvements

In some professional sectors, reporting or publication can be sped up by providing tagged or summarized texts and image data. This enables employees to focus on more higher specialized tasks and cuts down the time taken to release a publication or news content. The Wordsmith is a technology that uses data to help generate stories or writings. It helps to turn various areas of a data spreadsheet into variables that can be inserted into a text template for writing. Reporting is made easier and the same template can be used repeatedly.
Machine learning are also responsible for many applied predictive analytics in recommendation engines that are commercially utilized. Online products and services platforms such as Amazon and Netflix relies largely on machine learning to power its recommendation engines to provide recommendations that are personalized to the user based on viewing data, search history, rating and device used. This personalization of service not only improves customer retention rate and conversion rate, it also improves user experience and customer satisfaction.

Contribute to scientific advancements that improve quality of life

Health and medical care are essential life services that will always benefit from technological contributions. In terms of medical services, diagnosis and treatment are closely interrelated. Utilization of computer vision with machine learning increases the ability of image diagnostic tools which can be trained to detect a health or medical problem faster and with higher accuracy. IBM Watson’s partnership with healthcare institutions is an example of how data from previous decades can be leveraged for future medical treatment ideas or options. With MSK’s Oncology department, IBM Watson’s intelligence tools are already in preliminary use for cancer treatment suggestions. IBM was also involved with efforts of medical data pooling and deriving intelligence from it.

Machine Learning and Humanity

Machine learning simplifies and ease human-based processes and work flow. It provides pathways to solutions that reduces the difficulties humans face in many different levels of activities and fulfillment of needs. With the latest improvements and new intelligence brought by machine learning, humanity has a brighter chance of surviving complexities in the future.

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