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Machine Learning Basics

Kajal Agrawal

3 years ago

Table of Content
  • What is Machine Learning?
  •   Supervised Learning
  • Unsupervised Learning
  •  Reinforcement Learning
  • Applications of Machine Learning
          Imagine, from many days you are planning to learn guitar. But due to this pandemic situation you are not able to go out and take offline classes. So, you decided to learn online from YouTube. You open your YouTube application and search for guitar tutorials and you got some tutorial on it. You saw some videos and selected one to learn from it.
Did you ever imagine how it’s actually works, how you get the related videos?
Yes, you are thinking Right. Its machine learning.
YouTube uses machine learning algorithms to give you the best results. Which is one of the types of machine learning algorithm – Recommendation system.
This is only one example! There are many others. Amazon Echo understands you and can answer your questions. Your vacuum cleaner can even navigate its way around your house while Netflix is recommending videos that match your profile! Apple can recognize your friend’s face in the photo you just took. Machine learning has become a massive part of our daily lives, and it’s not going anywhere soon.
So, today in this tutorial, we will try to learn Basics of machine learning and how it’s actually works.
Machine Learning

So, let’s understand what is machine learning?

        Machine Learning is nothing but getting computers to program themselves. If programming is automation, then machine learning is automating the process of automation.
Writing software is the bottleneck, we don’t have enough good developers. Let the data do the work instead of people. Machine learning is the way to make programming scalable.
As you got some idea about what is machine learning. But actually, you might be thinking why we need it.
In Traditional Programming we provide data and write a program which runs on the computer and produce the output.
But in Machine Learning we provide the data and output which runs on the computer to create a program or function. This program / function can be used in traditional programming.
Machine learning is like farming or gardening. Seeds are the algorithms, nutrients are the data, the gardener is you, and plants are the programs.
Let’s understand this with a simple example. Let’s say we want to predict the price of a new house based on the size of the house, the number of bathrooms, and the number of rooms it has.
We could try to build a traditional algorithm that answers this question. This algorithm would have to take the house features, here three and return the predicted price based on an explicit rule. In this example, the exact house pricing formula has to be known and coded explicitly. But in practice, this formula is often not known.
On the other hand, we could build a machine learning algorithm. First, such algorithm would define a model that can be an incomplete formula created from our limited knowledge. Then, the model would be adjusted by training on given housing prices examples. Doing so, we combine a model with some data.
In general, machine learning is incredibly useful for difficult tasks when we have incomplete information or information that’s too complex to be coded by hand. In these cases, we can give the information we have available to our model and let this one “learn” the missing information that it needs by itself. The algorithm will then use statistical techniques to extract the missing knowledge directly from the data.
Machine learning can be broadly classified into three types.
1)    Supervised Learning
2)    Unsupervised Learning
3)    Reinforcement Learning

Supervised Learning

          In supervised learning, our aim is to build a model to predict the label of data based on their given features. In order to learn mapping between features and labels, the model has to be fitted on given examples of features with their related labels. We say that “the model is trained on a labeled dataset.” And it known as Supervised machine learning.
Now, our predicted labels can be numbers or categories. For example, we could be building a model that predicts the price of a house, implying we would want to predict a label that’s a number. In this case, we called it as a regression model.
On the other hand, we might also want to define a model that predicts a category, like “dog” or “not dog”, based on given features. In this situation, the model is called as a classification model.
Some others examples of regression and classification are:

Unsupervised Learning

            In unsupervised learning, we want to build a model that can infer a function to describe a hidden structure from unlabeled data. Here, we will only have input data (X) and no corresponding output variable.
The goal of the model is to find the underlying structure or distribution in the data in order to learn more about the data.
For example, unsupervised learning algorithms can help answer questions like “are there groups among my data?” or “is there any way to simplify the description of my data?”.
Unsupervised learning can be broadly divided into two types:
1)    Clustering
2)    Association
The model can look for different kind of underlying structures in the data. If it tries to find groups among the data, we would talk about a clustering model. An example of a clustering model would be a model that segments customers of a company based on their profiles.
On the other hand, when you want to discover rules that describe large portions of your data, such as people that buy X also tend to buy Y is known as Association problem.
Some of the real use cases of Association problem are Market Basket Analysis and Web usage mining and intrusion detection.

Reinforcement learning

         Reinforcement learning is a type of dynamic programming that trains algorithms using a system of reward and punishment.
A reinforcement learning algorithm, or agent, learns by interacting with its environment. The agent receives rewards by performing correctly and penalties for performing incorrectly. The agent learns without intervention from a human by maximizing its reward and minimizing its penalty.
Some of the example of reinforcement learning are
Self-driving cars
Aircraft control and robot motion control etc.
As of now I think you understand what is machine learning and its types.
Let me summaries it for you how machine learning model works.
Imagine, input is given to the machine learning model which then gives the output according to the algorithm applied. If the output is correct, we take the output as the final result else we provide feedback to the training model and ask it to predict until it learns.
I hope you understood machine learning and it types supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning. Let’s see some of the applications of it.

Applications of Machine Learning

Some of the applications of machine learning are:
  • Web Search: Google uses this method to rank the page based on what you are most likely to click on.
  • YouTube uses recommender system to recommend you some videos based on your search history.
  •  Gmail uses a spam classifier to classify the mail into spam or not spam.
  •  Uber uses a machine learning algorithm to show you the estimated price based on your given destination. 
So, there are many more applications of Machine learning in our day to day life. But do you ever think how it is possible even.
This is possible due the huge the huge amount of data what we are producing on a daily basis which is used for analysis and also the advanced in the computation power available with the advancement of the new technology.
That all for machine learning basics from my side. 
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