AI, Machine Learning, Cognitive Computing - Learn These Or Perish

Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Cognitive Computing, Machine Intelligence, Neural Networks.

These are a few terms you may have started hearing more often recently. Or, if you have been hearing these for the last many years, you are much ahead of the curve.

These are terms often used inter-changeably. But there is great difference between these emerging technology areas in its constitution and deployment. It is worth having a basic understanding of these, even if you are not a developer, engineer or a scientist. As the new technological shift happens as you read this, you are expected to know these emerging areas and as to how you can make use of each of these in your area of work, be it recruiting, training, sales, marketing, finance, taxation, supply chain, manufacturing, communications, journalism, public policy, government and so on.

An area of serious research since 1950, Artificial Intelligence is a natural progression of ‘smart machines,’ wherein the machines are able to carry out task in a better way than it is programmed to do. In Artificial Intelligence, machines, computers and solutions are programmed to identify patterns and respond to the patterns. Rather than depending on complex calculations, Artificial Intelligence focuses on mimicking the decision making processes of human brain.

You may have noticed that once you searched for ‘best and cheap mobile phone’ in Google search, and returned to search for something else later, display ads of many mobile phone brands come up in your screen. As you start typing ‘best..’ in the search field, it will show up as ‘best and cheap mobile phones’. These are simple tricks done with the help of AI algorithms by Google.

Machine Learning is one step ahead. As an application of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning is about giving machines access to Data, allowing them to learn themselves, and to respond. In brief, it is about giving machines the ability to learn and build models in order to perform activities like prediction within specific domains. Therefore, Machine Learning is widely used in applications in Prediction, Analytics, and Data Mining.

Building on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Deep Learning emerged around the turn of the century. It started as a new set of methods which began changing Machine Learning in fundamental ways. Not an algorithm per se, but Deep Learning is a family of algorithms that implement deep networks with unsupervised learning. The networks are so deep to the extent that new methods of computation are required to build them, in addition to clusters of compute nodes.

You will find Deep learning algorithms in facial recognition solutions, in accurate disease diagnosis, in self-driving vehicles, and to solve many other complex problems.

Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is an information processing paradigm, inspired by the functioning of the human nervous system commanded by Brain. The key element is the novel structure of the information processing system, used in multi-layers with new topologies and learning methods to solve complex problems in various domains. Neural Networks help to teach computers to comprehend and think the way humans do, while preserving the distinctive advantages of computers over humans such as speed, accuracy and lack of bias. For instance, Neural Network can categorize plants and animals, within that groups further to genus, species and sub-species, with ease.

Cognitive Computing has emerged as an extension of Machine Learning and as systems that can learn and interact with humans. This was demonstrated by IBM Watson by successfully defeating world class opponents at Jeopardy. It builds on Neural Networks and Deep Learning, but applies knowledge from cognitive science to build systems that simulate human thought processes. Cognitive Computing covers several disciplines, including machine learning, natural language processing, vision, and human-computer interaction. This further led to the development of humanoids - robots which behaves like humans.

If you have learnt these terms, now tune in for Quantum Computing!

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