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Intro to Machine Learning

What is a definition of Machine Learning?

Machine Learning subfield of science that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.   The goal of Machine Learning is to develop learning algorithms that do the learning automatically without human intervention or assistance, just by being exposed to new data. The Machine Learning paradigm can be viewed as “programming by example”. This subarea of artificial intelligence intersects broadly with other fields like statistics, mathematics, physics, theoretical computer science and more.

Machine Learning can play a key role in a wide range of critical applications, such as data mining, natural language processing, image recognition, and expert systems. Machine Learning can be a game changer in all these domains and is set to be a pillar of our future civilization. If one wants a program to predict something, one can run it through a Machine Learning algorithm with historical data and “train” the model, it will then predict future patterns. Machine Learning is quite vast and is expanding rapidly, into different sub-specialties and types.

Examples of Machine Learning problems include, “Is this car?”, “How much is this house worth?”, “Will this person like this movie?”, “Who is this?”, “What did you say?”, and “How do you fly this thing?”. All of these problems are excellent targets for a Machine Learning project, and in fact, it has been applied to each of them with great success.

Among the different types of Machine Learning tasks, a crucial distinction is drawn between supervised and unsupervised learning:

Supervised machine learning: The program is “trained” on a pre-defined set of “training examples”, which then facilitate its ability to reach an accurate conclusion when given new data.

Unsupervised machine learning: The program is given a bunch of data and must find patterns and relationships between them.

Supervised Machine Learning

In the majority of supervised learning applications, the ultimate goal is to develop a finely tuned predictor function. “Learning” consists of using sophisticated mathematical algorithms to optimize this function so that, given input data about a certain domain, it will accurately predict some interesting value. The goal of Machine Learning is not to make “perfect” guesses, but to make guesses that are good enough to be useful.

Many modern Machine Learning problems take thousands or even millions of dimensions of data to build predictions using hundreds of coefficients.

The iterative approach taken by Machine Learning algorithms works very well for multiple problems, but it doesn’t mean Machine Learning can solve any arbitrary problem, it can’t, but it is very a powerful tool in our hands.

In supervised learning, there are two categories of problems:

Regression – the value being predicted is continuous, it answers questions like: “How much?” or “How many?”

Classification – yes-or-no prediction, categorical answer, Eg. “Is this cat?”, “Is this product category x?”.

The underlying theory is more or less the same, differences are the design of the predictor and the design of the cost function.

Unsupervised Machine Learning

Unsupervised learning typically is tasked with finding relationships within data. There are no training examples, the system is given a set data and tasked with finding patterns. A good example is identifying groups of friends in social network data. The algorithms used to do this are different from those used for supervised learning.

 

Machine Learning is an incredibly powerful tool, it will help to solve some of the human most burning problems, as well as open up whole new opportunities.

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If you want to look for more information, check some free online courses available at   coursera.orgedx.org or udemy.com.

Recommended reading list:

 

Data Science from Scratch: First Principles with Python

Data science libraries, frameworks, modules, and toolkits are great for doing data science, but they’re also a good way to dive into the discipline without actually understanding data science. In this book, you’ll learn how many of the most fundamental data science tools and algorithms work by implementing them from scratch.

If you have an aptitude for mathematics and some programming skills, author Joel Grus will help you get comfortable with the math and statistics at the core of data science, and with hacking skills you need to get started as a data scientist. Today’s messy glut of data holds answers to questions no one’s even thought to ask. This book provides you with the know-how to dig those answers out.

Get a crash course in Python
Learn the basics of linear algebra, statistics, and probability—and understand how and when they're used in data science
Collect, explore, clean, munge, and manipulate data
Dive into the fundamentals of machine learning
Implement models such as k-nearest Neighbors, Naive Bayes, linear and logistic regression, decision trees, neural networks, and clustering
Explore recommender systems, natural language processing, network analysis, MapReduce, and databases
Practical Statistics for Data Scientists: 50 Essential Concepts

Statistical methods are a key part of of data science, yet very few data scientists have any formal statistics training. Courses and books on basic statistics rarely cover the topic from a data science perspective. This practical guide explains how to apply various statistical methods to data science, tells you how to avoid their misuse, and gives you advice on what's important and what's not.

Many data science resources incorporate statistical methods but lack a deeper statistical perspective. If you’re familiar with the R programming language, and have some exposure to statistics, this quick reference bridges the gap in an accessible, readable format.

With this book, you’ll learn:

Why exploratory data analysis is a key preliminary step in data science
How random sampling can reduce bias and yield a higher quality dataset, even with big data
How the principles of experimental design yield definitive answers to questions
How to use regression to estimate outcomes and detect anomalies
Key classification techniques for predicting which categories a record belongs to
Statistical machine learning methods that “learn” from data
Unsupervised learning methods for extracting meaning from unlabeled data
Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline

Now that people are aware that data can make the difference in an election or a business model, data science as an occupation is gaining ground. But how can you get started working in a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary field that’s so clouded in hype? This insightful book, based on Columbia University’s Introduction to Data Science class, tells you what you need to know.

In many of these chapter-long lectures, data scientists from companies such as Google, Microsoft, and eBay share new algorithms, methods, and models by presenting case studies and the code they use. If you’re familiar with linear algebra, probability, and statistics, and have programming experience, this book is an ideal introduction to data science.

Topics include:

Statistical inference, exploratory data analysis, and the data science process
Algorithms
Spam filters, Naive Bayes, and data wrangling
Logistic regression
Financial modeling
Recommendation engines and causality
Data visualization
Social networks and data journalism
Data engineering, MapReduce, Pregel, and Hadoop
The Data Science Handbook: Advice and Insights from 25 Amazing Data Scientists

The Data Science Handbook contains interviews with 25 of the world s best data scientists. We sat down with them, had in-depth conversations about their careers, personal stories, perspectives on data science and life advice. In The Data Science Handbook, you will find war stories from DJ Patil, US Chief Data Officer and one of the founders of the field. You ll learn industry veterans such as Kevin Novak and Riley Newman, who head the data science teams at Uber and Airbnb respectively. You ll also read about rising data scientists such as Clare Corthell, who crafted her own open source data science masters program. This book is perfect for aspiring or current data scientists to learn from the best. It s a reference book packed full of strategies, suggestions and recipes to launch and grow your own data science career.
Introduction to Machine Learning with Python: A Guide for Data Scientists

Machine learning has become an integral part of many commercial applications and research projects, but this field is not exclusive to large companies with extensive research teams. If you use Python, even as a beginner, this book will teach you practical ways to build your own machine learning solutions. With all the data available today, machine learning applications are limited only by your imagination.

You’ll learn the steps necessary to create a successful machine-learning application with Python and the scikit-learn library. Authors Andreas Müller and Sarah Guido focus on the practical aspects of using machine learning algorithms, rather than the math behind them. Familiarity with the NumPy and matplotlib libraries will help you get even more from this book.

With this book, you’ll learn:

Fundamental concepts and applications of machine learning
Advantages and shortcomings of widely used machine learning algorithms
How to represent data processed by machine learning, including which data aspects to focus on
Advanced methods for model evaluation and parameter tuning
The concept of pipelines for chaining models and encapsulating your workflow
Methods for working with text data, including text-specific processing techniques
Suggestions for improving your machine learning and data science skills