What is Machine Learning and Why is it Important?

An Image in which Machine Learning is written on a paper coming out from type writer

Machine learning has become a big buzzword these days. Let’s break it down in simple terms even my grandma could understand. Machine learning is all about teaching computers to learn on their own using data and experiences, without being overly explicitly programmed for every little thing.

See, regular computer programs are very rigid. You code specific rules and instructions, and the computer follows them precisely. Machine learning turns that idea around – instead of giving the computer strict rules, you give it tons of examples and data to analyze. By looking at all these examples, the computer learns about patterns on its own and makes predictions based on what it has seen before.

For example, say you wanted a computer to be able to identify apples and oranges in photos. The old-fashioned way would be to manually code detailed rules about the colors, shapes, sizes etc. of apples and oranges. In machine learning, you simply feed the computer gazillions of images of apples and oranges, and it works to identify patterns and markers in the images that differentiate apples from oranges. Slowly but surely, by analyzing more data the computer learns to distinguish apples from oranges on it’s own through trial and error. Pretty neat right!

This works the same way we humans learn things too. As kids, our parents don’t sit us down and dictate rules about every object on earth! We simply observe objects around us repeatedly, see patterns about their characteristics, and slowly learn to categorize them individually. Machine learning aims to mimic this human learning capability using data patterns.

Why So Popular Recently?

Machine learning technology has exploded in popularity recently. But the basic concepts have been around for over 50 years! So why the sudden hype nowadays?

There are a few reasons:

  1. Computers have become incredibly more powerful and advanced over time. Machine learning models require examining insane amounts of data. Older computers simply didn’t have the capability. But now computers can easily process huge datasets making machine learning possible.
  2. There is SO much data available, far more than ever before! Social media platforms, smart devices, e-commerce sites generate mind-boggling amounts of user data daily. All this data is like food ready to eat for hungry machine learning algorithms to analyze and improve.
  3. Due to these improvements, machine learning has become amazingly accurate in it’s predictive capabilities in recent years. We are seeing real-world applications offering incredible benefits which seemed like distant dreams even a decade ago. Self-driving cars using machine vision, personalized health predictions using AI, lightning-fast access to information with voice assistants, and so much more that is transforming our daily lives.
A laptop screen showing Data graphs

How Does it Impact Our Lives?

Thanks to rapid progress in machine learning technology and advanced algorithms powering AI applications, this innovative approach to software development has spawned revolutionary breakthroughs impacting every facet of society today.

Innovations Powered by Machine Learning

Here are some life-changing innovations powered by machine learning’s pattern-finding abilities:


Accurate diagnosis of illness in medical images, customized treatment plans, early disease warnings and more. It’s saving lives every day!


Self-driving vehicle technology is safer eliminating human error in judgment. Plus, traffic optimization is reducing commute times.


Movie and music recommendations that perfectly match our tastes thanks to platforms utilizing our viewing and listening habits.


Voice-enabled personal assistants schedule meetings, set reminders, control devices. Even offer companionship for lonely individuals.


Optimized marketing and sales processes using predictive analytics and customized customer experiences. Improving revenue.


Adaptive safeguards to access, fraud detection and monitoring suspicious activity to ward off criminal behavior. learn more here…

…and so much more! Nearly every industry is experiencing revolutionary disruption thanks to machine learning advancements. Our world is being transformed rapidly. And this is just the beginning as computers continue learning exponentially.

The Future of Machine Learning

It’s an incredibly exciting time as data-hungry machine learning models running complex algorithms get smarter every day at astonishing speeds. Experts forecast nearly all tasks influenced by pattern-finding abilities will be dominated by artificial intelligence in the future.

But will the robots take over the world? Maybe not in our lifetimes! For now machine learning is here making lives easier, safer and better one emerging application at a time. Although innovations bring some job disruption, history shows technology also creates opportunities leading to progress.

So while machine learning continues evolving rapidly, let’s embrace the life-enhancing benefits responsibly and ensure development is aligned positively to serve both individual and collective good so that the future looks bright for all!

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