As humans become more reliant on technology, our understanding of what machines and computers can do for our lives grows more with each development.
Machine learning is one of the more recent of those developments, helping our technology to evolve and grow by itself, offering new potential with each iteration. It’s an exceptionally exciting field of study that can help jumpstart the way our computers increase their efficiency and scope in every industry, from medical applications to entertainment.
But what exactly does machine learning entail? What role do humans have in developing machine learning intelligence and how can you get into a career that’s based around one of the most intriguing and progressive areas of technological discovery? In this blog, we’re going to try and answer those questions and more, diving into the world of artificial intelligence to learn more about the careers and career paths that pave the way for better and more refined machine learning.
What is machine learning?
Machine learning is all about creating and coding computers and other forms of technology that can learn and improve their processes by themselves with little or no input from humans.
These machines learn by picking out patterns in significant amounts of data and using those patterns and that data analysis to make decisions about completing a process or providing information. this is done with minimal human intervention, with computers carrying out activity without being specifically told or coded to that activity – all through using machine learning algorithms.
A much used example of machine learning is speech recognition, in which a computer or machine receives the words someone says as audio and recognises patterns within the audio which are translate into text. The machine uses the text file to make a decision on what the user requires and then delivers that service. Household examples of this include things like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.
What careers are available in machine learning?
While at first glance, it might seem that machine learning is all about significantly reducing human interaction with programming machines, there are a lot of careers surrounding the field – especially because companies of all sizes and industries are keen to use the technology to improve the way they work. As such, a big question for those interested in AI and data is the question of how to get into machine learning.
Pursuing a machine learning career path is engaging, interesting and full of potential, positioning professionals at the beating heart of AI and robotics development. Though there might be a lot to learn and pick up, a mid-career switch to machine learning is also entirely possible, especially considering the number of machine learning online courses there are in the field.
Here are some examples of careers in machine learning:
- Machine Learning Engineer – While much of the onus in machine learning is placed on the machine learning by itself, it still needs a human to code in the algorithms and programmes that it will use to enact the process of learning. A machine learning engineer does just that, providing the machine or computer with the tools that it needs to learn.
- Data Scientist – With a big push in the technological community for better machine learning, we need more and higher-quality datasets than ever before. Data scientists help to source, analyse and create data models which engineers then program into computers to enable them to engage in machine learning.
- Business intelligence developer – The applications of machine learning are many, and it’s the role of a business intelligence developer within a business to identify how these applications can improve the way their company works. They also work closely with data, identifying patterns in the same way that machine learning technology does to identify patterns and trends.
How to start your path to a career in machine learning
Because the area of machine learning and artificial intelligence is an exceptionally technical one, the best way to get started on your machine learning career path is with education and training.
There are a wealth of artificial intelligence course options available to those interested in getting started in the field. These programmes are designed to give you a full understanding of the mechanics, science and technology behind machine learning and artificial intelligence, and should be your first step towards carving a career out of the industry.
You can find a range of artificial intelligence courses at the University of Liverpool including the online MSc course in Artificial Intelligence.
Frequently asked questions
What are the four types of machine learning?
With each piece of machine learning technology, there are four types of machine learning that computers and machines operate from – supervised learning, un-supervised learning, semi-supervised learning and reinforcement learning:
Supervised learning sees the data engineers provide the machine with a fully labelled set of data which the machine can use for reference while training a learning algorithm.
Un-supervised learning sees the machine learning model presented with an unlabelled dataset without telling the model what to do with the data. The model must find trends and patterns within the dataset to establish a purpose for the data.
Semi-supervised learning is halfway between supervised and un-supervised, with the machine learning computer given a labelled and an unlabelled dataset to extract and compare features and patterns from.
Reinforcement learning is the process of training a machine learning model the best way to complete a task. With each correct move the model makes towards the overall goal, it gets a ‘reward’, with every new move requiring the model to use what it has learnt to progress.
What is machine learning used for?
Machine learning has enormous potential for a full range of applications, both in our professional and personal lives. From recommendations on a video streaming service to military threat monitoring, the uses of artificial intelligence are near limitless and as we learn more about the field, we can expect to see more machine learning used in our day-to-day lives with every technological cycle.
You can discover more examples of machine learning with this comprehensive article.
How can I start to learn machine learning?
Learning more about machine learning and how you can find a career in AI starts with training and education. There are a number of elements in maths and computer programming that can help, such as coding, linear algebra, calculus – and personal research and AI projects are always a bonus – but the best way to get started is to take a course in machine learning.
The University of Liverpool has developed a proactive and in-depth artificial intelligence course , designed to give you the skills and technical abilities to create, maintain and evaluate AI learning models for computers and machines. You can find out more about the course here – and to learn more about the benefits and advantages of studying online with the University of Liverpool, visit our website here.