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Machine learning in 2023: What does it offer, and what does the future hold?

Posted on: September 7, 2023

Machine learning (ML) has been through a period of remarkable advancement in recent years, and has helped the wider field of artificial intelligence (AI) cement its role in people’s daily lives. Today, machine learning is an indispensable tool for solving complex real-world problems and unlocking new possibilities – and the future holds immense promise.

The current state of machine learning

Machine learning technologies have become some of the biggest players in the world of artificial intelligence and computer science. For example:

  • Automation. Breakthroughs in machine learning models and algorithms have transformed automation tools and workflows. From business processes to data science, machine learning is making it easier for organisations to automate mundane tasks and free up people’s time for more complex work.
  • Big data. Machine learning algorithms are a powerful tool for data scientists who need to analyse large datasets to find new patterns, trends, segmentations, metrics, benchmarks, and insights.
  • Neural networks. Artificial neural networks are another formidable resource for processing and analysing vast amounts of data. Meanwhile, deep learning – which is made up of multiple neural network layers – has enabled unprecedented breakthroughs in areas such as natural language processing and computer vision.
  • Robotics. Robotics are a popular tool in manufacturing, and have a growing presence in healthcare. Machine learning, meanwhile, is supporting robotics systems by making them more accurate, efficient, and productive.

Alongside these developments, companies like Microsoft and Amazon – as well as startups and technology providers – are investing heavily in machine learning systems, building sophisticated models and algorithms to enhance their products and services. From personalised recommendations on e-commerce platforms to real-time fraud detection in financial transactions, machine learning algorithms have become an integral part of people’s digital lives and organisations’ sales pipelines.

Current complexities in machine learning

Machine learning has come a long way, but in 2023 it still faces several challenges and complexities.

One significant obstacle is the need for large, labeled datasets to train accurate ML models. Labeling the massive amounts of data required for training can be time-consuming and expensive.

In fact, data remains one of the most significant challenges for machine learning development and optimisation:

“The quality of the training data directly impacts the accuracy and reliability of the machine learning algorithm,” reports a 2023 LinkedIn article on the importance of good training data. “If the training data is biased or incomplete, the machine learning algorithm will make inaccurate predictions. For example, if a facial recognition algorithm is trained on a dataset that only includes images of white people, it will struggle to recognise people of colour. Similarly, if a spam filter is trained on a dataset that only includes emails in English, it will struggle to filter out spam emails in other languages.”

Another challenge is what’s known as the interpretability of machine learning. This challenge stems from the fact that sophisticated machine learning architectures – such as deep learning models – and their underlying decision-making processes can be difficult for humans to understand and interpret. It’s important that people understand both the insights gleaned from machine learning systems, as well as how the insights were reached within the data – and addressing this challenge can be crucial for building trust in machine learning systems, particularly in sectors like healthcare and cybersecurity.

Predictions for the future of AI and machine learning

The future of AI and machine learning holds tremendous potential as technology continues to evolve.

  • Internet of Things (IoT). One key area for growth is the integration of machine learning with the Internet of Things. Smart devices and sensors can generate vast amounts of data, which machine learning algorithms can analyse in real-time to benefit both users and IoT businesses.
  • Natural language processing (NLP). NLP is also expected to continue its advance, enabling machines to understand – and generate – human-like language more effectively. This progress can lead to improvements in virtual assistants, chatbots, and language translation systems, as well as language models such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, or GPT), which aim to become capable of generating coherent and context-aware responses.
  • Healthcare. In the healthcare sector, machine learning is predicted to play an increasingly important role in analysing patient data to diagnose diseases, predict health outcomes, and optimise or personalise treatment plans. It’s hoped that machine learning can use large medical datasets to uncover patterns that aid in early detection of health issues, helping to save lives and reduce healthcare delivery costs.

The benefits of studying machine learning

The advancements in machine learning have helped artificial intelligence become an inextricable part of daily life, which means that anyone who wants to stay ahead of the AI curve going forwards need to stay on top of machine learning, too.

Whether developing intelligent apps, working on cutting-edge research, or driving business innovation, machine learning provides a deep understanding of how AI algorithms work, and these skills are in high demand.

“With more companies relying on technology to automate tasks and increase efficiency, demand for technology professionals with machine learning experience could grow. Companies in industries like finance, healthcare, government, and transportation all explore machine learning solutions,” states a recent Indeed article about machine learning. “Learning how to work with data to produce efficient solutions is a skill many organisations could use. Using structured data and statistics can help expand business knowledge, like what customers want, how different actions produce different results, and how individuals work in an organisation.”

Building a career in machine learning

With the increasing adoption of machine learning across industries, experts such as machine learning engineers, data scientists, and AI researchers are highly sought-after. These professionals work on developing and deploying AI models, optimising algorithms, and solving complex problems. 

Build a successful career in AI by staying up-to-date with the latest machine learning trends and technology: 

  • Learn new programming languages – particularly ones commonly applied in machine learning, such as Python.
  • Engage in continuous learning. This includes exploring open-source machine learning libraries, and networking with other machine learning professionals in person at conferences or online on social media platforms or forums.
  • Adapting skills as new technology and techniques evolve.

Launch your career in artificial intelligence and machine learning

Develop a critical understanding of the processes, techniques, methodologies, and hands-on applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning with the 100%-online MSc Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence at the University of Wolverhampton. This flexible Master’s degree has been developed for forward-thinking individuals who may not have a background in computer science.

The course has been designed in close consultation with AI experts and leverages unique tools and platforms to deliver the core skills and capabilities required in this field. You’ll be equipped for innovative roles in areas such as the creative industries, product design, and the games industry after studying areas such as data science, intelligent agents, and data mining.

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