Blue Sky Science: What is machine learning?

Q What is machine learning? — Austin Sandoval, UW-Madison student A Machine learning is an area of computer science that focuses on building computer programs that help machines learn by example. This is similar to the way young children learn about the world around them. Children can learn to distinguish between apples and oranges by showing them many examples. Soon they’ll recognize certain features like the color and texture of apples versus oranges. A machine can learn to tell apples and oranges apart in much the same way. A machine can be given a set of images of different apples and oranges. Along with each image, it’s told whether the image is an apple or an orange. The machine automatically extracts features from these images, like the color,…

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