What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning refers to computers that are able to act and react without being explicitly programmed to do so. Computer scientists and engineers are developing systems that not only intake, retrieve, and interpret data, but also learn from it. To do this, the machine must make a generalization, using its algorithm to perform accurately on new examples after being trained on a different learning data set — much like a human learns from experiences and uses that knowledge to respond appropriately in a different encounter. In this sense, machine learning is widely considered by many researchers and thought leaders to reflect an emerging approach towards human-like artificial intelligence. Practical speech recognition, semantic applications, and even self-driving cars all leverage machine learning. A recent incarnation of machine learning is software called Xapagy, which improvises dialogue and plot moves in stories fed to it by users. The potential of machine learning for education is vast, facilitating altogether smarter technology that has the accuracy of a computer and the adaptability of the most intelligent human beings.