Making the Most of Machine Learning – 5 Lessons From Fast Learners
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Making the Most of Machine Learning – 5 Lessons From Fast Learners

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If you think Machine Learning (ML) is a new technology, think again! ML is as old as one generation, which is typically 25-30 years! Think that far back and you realize that newly spawned forward-looking companies like Google and Amazon understood the power of ML way back in the early 1990s. Those companies made the best use of ML to become what they are today – market-shattering behemoths!

Michael Jordan, professor of Computer Science and Statistics at University of California, Berkeley, noted in a recent article in Medium, “Most of what is being called ‘AI’ today, particularly in the public sphere, is what has been called ‘machine learning’ for the past several decades.”

In one of his articles published recently by Digitalist Magazine, Paul Taylor, an expert in Machine Learning, observed that Amazon, which has been investing deeply in artificial intelligence for over 20 years, has been using ML algorithms drive many of their internal systems. It’s core to the capabilities their customers’ experience…”

Long before many of us had even heard of ML algorithms, Google, Airbnb, Uber, Facebook, Amazon and companies like them were using ML to fuel their customer experience and growth. So, ML is nothing new and it is not happening in the future. It has been happening for the last 30 years. The key difference is that today’s ML algorithms are more advanced. In its current state, ML is a subset of the bigger and wider technology we know today as ‘Artificial Intelligence.’

A recent study prepared for SAP by the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 360 organizations, revealing that 68 percent of respondents are already using ML. The report adds: “Some are aiming even higher: to use ML to change their business models and offer entirely new value propositions to customers…… ML is not just a technology…It is core to the business strategies that have led to the surging value of organizations that incorporate it into their operating models – think Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb.”

These companies are fast learners.

Fast learner organizations have benefited from their senior-most management who saw and understood the strategic value of ML. However, making effective use of ML — and AI for that matter — is not just about good management. It is about the senior level grasping the importance of ML and AL in today’s highly competitive environment and making use of these technologies as strategic and tactical components in all customer-touching initiatives. This is also the initial step in transforming your organization into an intelligent enterprise.

Let me know your thoughts.

By: Venkat Nanduri

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