Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a branch of computer science that aims to create machines that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. One of the main techniques used in AI is machine learning (ML), which enables computers to learn from various forms of data and improve their performance over time. In this instalment, we will focus on supervised machine learning, which is one of the most common methods in use.
Supervised machine learning is a type of ML in which the computer is trained to recognize patterns in data by being presented with a set of labeled examples. In other words, the computer is given a set of input data and a set of corresponding output data, and it learns to recognize the relationship between the two.
Let's take the example of an image recognition system. The input data in this case would be the images, and the output data would be the labels that identify what is in the image (e.g., "cat", "dog", "car", etc.). The computer is trained on a set of labeled images, and it learns to recognize the patterns that are associated with each label. Once the computer has been trained, it can then be used to classify new images that it has never seen before.
The process of supervised machine learning involves several steps:
- Data collection: The first step is to collect a set of labeled data that will be used to train the computer. In the case of image recognition, this might involve collecting thousands or even millions of labeled images.
- Data preprocessing: The next step is to preprocess the data to prepare it for training. This might involve tasks such as resizing images, converting them to grayscale, or normalizing the pixel values.
- Model selection: Next we select a model that will be used to learn the patterns in the data. There are many different types of models that can be used for supervised machine learning, including decision trees, neural networks, and support vector machines.
- Training: The model is then trained on the labeled data by adjusting its internal parameters to minimize the difference between the predicted output and the actual output.
- Evaluation: Once the model has been trained, it is evaluated on a set of test data to measure its performance. This helps to ensure that the model is not overfitting to the training data and is able to generalize to new data.
- Deployment: Finally, the model can be deployed in a real-world application to perform the task for which it was trained, such as image recognition or speech recognition.
Supervised machine learning has many practical applications in fields such as finance, marketing, healthcare, and of course, horticulture. For example, banks can use supervised machine learning to detect fraudulent transactions, while doctors can use it to diagnose diseases based on medical images. Retailers can use it to predict customer behaviour and offer personalized recommendations, while in horticulture it may be used to detect pests and disease.
Supervised machine learning is a powerful technique that allows computers to learn from labeled examples and recognize patterns in data. While there are many steps involved in the process, the end result is a model that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more exciting applications of supervised machine learning in the future.