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Dreams of electric sheep – A Short History of Machine Learning

Dreams of electric sheep

It’s all well and good to ask if androids dream of electric sheep, but science fact has evolved to a point where it’s beginning to coincide with science fiction. No, we don’t have autonomous androids struggling with existential crises — yet — but we are getting ever closer to what people tend to call “artificial intelligence.” To read a short abstract of the novel by Philip K. Dick click here.

Impact of machine

Machine is a sub-set of artificial intelligenceArtificial Intelligence knows many different definitions, but in general it can be defined as a machine completing complex tasks intelligently, meaning that it mirrors human intelligence and evolves with time. where computer algorithmsAn algorithm is a fixed set of instructions for a computer. It can be very simple like "as long as the incoming number is smaller than 10, print "Hello World!". It can also be very complicated such as the algorithms behind self-driving cars. are used to autonomously learn from data and information. In machine computers don’t have to be explicitly programmed but can change and improve their algorithms by themselves. Today, machine algorithms enable computers to communicate with humans, autonomously drive cars, write and publish sport match reports, and find terrorist suspects. I firmly believe machine will severely impact most industries and the jobs within them, which is why every manager should have at least some grasp of what machine is and how it is evolving.

Stroll down memory lane

This post offers a quick trip through time to examine the origins of machine as well as the most recent milestones.

  • 1950 — Alan TuringAlan Turing constructed a test in the 1950's to determine a machine's intelligence. The test is considered to be passed, when a human cannot tell whether s/he is interacting with a machine or a human. The test as sparked controversy but is an important concept nevertheless.  creates the “Turing Test” to determine if a computer has real intelligence. To pass the test, a computer must be able to fool a human into believing it is also human.
  • 1952 — Arthur Samuel wrote the first computer program. The program was the game of checkers, and the IBM IBM +0.71% computer improved at the game the more it played, studying which moves made up winning strategies and incorporating those moves into its program.
  • 1957 — Frank Rosenblatt designed the first neural networkNeural Networks are simplified abstract models of the human brain. Usually they have different layers and many nodes. Each layer receives input on which it carries out simple computations, and passes on the result to the next layer, by the final layer the answer to whatever problem will be produced.  for computers (the perceptron), which simulate the thought processes of the human brain.
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    Dreams of electric sheep – A Short History of Machine Learning

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