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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Machine learning: the driving force of Artificial Intelligence | Imperial College London

Photo: Colin Smith
"Machine Learning has huge potential and Imperial can be at the forefront of it, say experts as a new initiative launches today" inform Mr Colin Smith, Central Faculty, Communications and Public Affairs, Communications Manager (Engineering). 
Photo: Imperial College London

Dr Marc Deisenroth, from the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, and colleagues from across the College are launching the Machine Learning Initiative today.

Colin Smith caught up with Dr Deisenroth to discover what machine learning is and why it is so important in our daily lives.

Can you tell us more about the launch? 
Industry leaders from companies such as Microsoft and Twitter, academics and students from Imperial and representatives from the UK’s major funding bodies, will all be attending.

The Initiative will bring together machine learning researchers from across the College and beyond to provide a collaborative environment for learning, teaching, and research in the field. The aim is to co-ordinate joint activities, such as seminars, workshops, tutorials, summer-schools and grant applications.

What is machine learning? 
Machine learning is when algorithms and methodologies give computers the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without human intervention and without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning automatically finds patterns and structures in data that humans cannot process easily in order to make predictions and decisions. The key emphasis is on “automatic”. No specific human guidance or expert knowledge is required. Machine learning algorithms can automatically adapt to evidence from data, which allows them to learn new concepts.

Is machine learning a form of Artificial Intelligence? 
Machine learning can be considered the engine of modern AI. It provides the underlying technology that drives AI. AI is about complex systems that behave intelligently. In order to reach this goal, AI poses many questions, and machine learning provides the technologies toward answering these questions. In other words, AI is about systems and questions whereas machine learning is about practical solutions to these challenges. Another difference is that AI strives for intelligence, whereas machine learning does not necessarily do this.

Why does the public know more about AI than machine learning? 
I think it is easier for us to conceptualize an intelligent robot rather than an intelligent algorithm. In this sense, AI is a much more concrete, less abstract concept than machine learning.
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Source: Imperial College London


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