Wanted: More types of machine learning

admin Written by admin · 1 min read >

ML (machine learning) is handy stuff. Now that public cloud computing has made it cheap, I’m seeing all types of cloud-based applications applying this technology effectively.

Basically, there are three types of machine learning.

  • Supervised learning means we have to train the knowledge base directly, providing labels for data, such as an image being a person, animal, or plant. This has a tendency to be more aligned with transactional use of ML, such as spotting fraudulent checks, facial identification, even recognizing patterns in data leading up to a common diagnosis. I use this type of ML most of all.
  • Unsupervised learning doesn’t require labeled data for training. This type of ML can learn to group, cluster, and/or organize the data the way a human would. I’ve used this type of machine learning to build recommendation engines for websites looking to boost sales by recommending products that would likely interest a customer. 
  • Reinforcement learning is really learning from mistakes, much like humans do. You’ll need to provide some sort of signal to the knowledge engine that associates good behaviors with a positive flag and bad behaviors with a negative one. The idea is to reinforce the preference for good behaviors over bad ones. You’ll find this type of ML in video games and simulations.

Of course, many Ph.D. theses and scholarly articles identify other types of artificial intelligence or ML as well. What I’ve listed here are the types supported by most cloud-based ML tools.

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