Saturday, July 1, 2017

Machine Learning – One of the most popular MOOCs of all time with over one million enrollments




INTRODUCTION
“Machine Learning,”  has been reported1 as one of the most popular MOOCs of all time. A program from Stanford University on Coursera, with a total enrollment of 1,122,031.  With such a high interest in “Machine Learning,” one wonders: 1) What is Machine Learning? 2) How does Machine Learning help us in our daily life? 3) Why should we study Machine Learning? 4) How do we get started studying Machine Learning? 5) What's out there for  Machine Learning MOOCs and Other MOOCs?

WHAT IS MACHINE LEARNING
First we need to describe an “algorithm” –  defined2 as a procedure for solving a problem based on conducting a sequence of specified actions. 

In Machine Learning (ML)3, an ML algorithm is given a “teaching set” of data, then asked to use that data to answer a question.  For example, you might provide a computer a “teaching set” of photographs some of which say “this is a cat” and some of which say, “this is not a cat.”  Then you could show the computer a series of new photos and the computer would identify which photos were of cats.

Every photo identified by the computer gets added to the “teaching set,” and the program effectively gets “smarter” and more efficient at completing its task over time.

HOW MACHINE LEARNING HELP US IN OUR DAILY LIFE3
Machine Learning has helped us in many ways including the 10 examples below:

1.       Helps us improve data security, e.g., by identifying and reporting anomalies that could predict security breaches;
2.       Helps us improve personal security, e.g., by speeding up security screenings at airports, stadiums, concerts, and other venues;
3.       Assists us in financial trading, e.g., with better predictions of what the stock markets will do on any given day;
4.       Helps us with healthcare, e.g., with early detection of breast cancer;
5.       Helps businesses make more sales by marketing personalization, i.e., by helping businesses understand more about their customers;
6.       Assist us in improving fraud detection, e.g., PayPal is using Machine Learning to fight money laundering;
7.       Assists services like Amazon in making accurate/appropriate recommendations regarding what we might want to purchase;
8.       Assist Google in making smart/appropriate responses to our online searches – perhaps the most famous use of Machine Learning;
9.       Assist in translating obscure legalese in contracts into plain language and help attorneys sort through large volumes of information to prepare for a case;
10.   Assist in the functioning of smart cars which are expected to be on the road by 2025.


WHY SHOULD WE STUDY MACHINE LEARNING4
1.       It’s a big deal: Machine Learning is the rave of the moment;
2.       It’s closely linked to data science: Just as humans learn from experience, Machine Learning systems learn from data;
3.       To become unwary of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence: There is likely to be a positive demand of engineers, come what may.

HOW TO GET STARTED ON STUDYING MACHINE LEARNING4
·         Learn a programming language, e.g., Python
·         Get a high-end PC
·         Learn the prerequisites: Basic Statistics; Basic Linear Algebra; Basic Calculus
·         Read academic papers on Machine Learning
·         Learn from YouTube Videos
·         Read Blogs and Follow Online Communities
·         Practice: Try your hands at Machine Learning projects and participate in contests hosted on Kaggle and similar sites

MOOCs ON MACHINE LEARNING & OTHER SUBJECTS
·         To explore the Machine Learning MOOC on Coursera by Stanford University, please click here
·         To learn how you can get a world-class machine learning education for free, please click here
·         For free, online machine learning courses and MOOCs, please click here
·         To explore Dr. Jason Brownlee’s website on Machine Learning, please click here
·         To explore other MOOCs, please click here

REFERENCES
1.       http://www.onlinecoursereport.com/the-50-most-popular-moocs-of-all-time/
2.       http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/algorithm
3.       https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2016/09/30/what-are-the-top-10-use-cases-for-machine-learning-and-ai/#5799b85c94c9A
4.       http://www.business2community.com/tech-gadgets/heres-learn-machine-learning-01818308#ChG2wuXsdvbXYEVU.97



Posted by: Dr. Nat Tuivavalagi



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