Opportunities for Machine Learning in The Cloud

The cloud has revolutionized almost every aspect of our world. Access to information and solutions has never been easier. Our devices work harder, know more, and anticipate better all the time.

But did you realize that this is a result of machine learning?

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine learning brings to mind androids uploading entire libraries to their brain. But in reality, machine learning is a method of data analysis that allows algorithms to iteratively learn from data, refining the models and algorithms without being explicitly programmed with those refinements.

The revolutionary part about machine learning is the fact that the machine independently adapts to new information. The self-driving Google car is the perfect example. Over the hundreds of thousands of miles driven, it has continuously refined its understanding of how to react to the plethora of circumstances which previously required a human brain to interpret. As a result, self driving cars now have a better accident record than humans.

How Is the Cloud Advancing Machine Learning?

Because machine learning relies on new information in order to refine its models, the cloud environment (i.e. the open, collaborative climate of the cloud industry) is the ideal place for machine learning to thrive.

As a simple example, I used to have to tell my Fitbit when I was working out. But thanks to the data of thousands of users just like me, a recent update has trained my Fitbit to be able to identify at least half a dozen separate types of activities/workouts. No doubt that number will increase as more and more data is compiled.

Where Are We Going Next?

As with the FitBit example, many companies are utilizing proprietary data to develop their products and maintain a competitive advantage.  But there are also large pools of freely available data which will be continuously mined and ever more interesting applications developed from them. Private data may also be licensed – for instance one might purchase access for your machine learning algorithm in order to refine it still further.

Machine learning is an exciting, fast-paced field with more and more revolutionary developments each week.  As cloud has enabled the era of big data, so it has incubated the era of machine learning.

 

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