Ever wonder how Gmail or even Outlook knows when an email is spam? How does it automatically categorize messages as worth trashing?
Or how does Amazon know to recommend buying socks and foot powder to someone browsing shoes?
The answer in both cases is machine learning. And it is the key to growing your app and marketing it at scale.
In this basic introduction to machine learning, we cover examples, benefits, and how machine learning can lead to marketing automation.
Machine learning (ML) is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to give a computer system the ability to learn by itself. The process makes machines more intelligent over time. And it allows computers to adapt to human behavior.
The computer system learns from past data that we feed it. Some of that may occur at the start, with a person pointing out which data is useful. Some of it may happen when people give the system data points that help it make decisions later on.
The outcome: the computer system can make predictions and decisions on its own thanks to the data.
You may have been using machine learning already without realizing it.
One of the best machine learning examples is Facebook’s facial recognition feature. Tag a friend in a photo once and you may never need to tag her again. And if the system isn’t sure, it asks. Facebook learns from every person tagged which name fits which face.
Then there is Netflix’s recommendation engine. The more you watch and rate movies, the more data it has to recommend movies that you might also like. Every time you rate a movie, you feed data to Netflix’s system. Every time you start a movie or show then abandon it, you provide another data point. The result: Netflix knows what you do or don’t like watching, and what you enjoy bingeing! Thanks to machine learning.
Paypal has a feature that allows it to detect whether a transaction is real or fraudulent. Their system can identify when you are using the account and when it looks like someone else has used it. Yet another of the many machine learning examples we rely on every day.
There are three major types of machine learning: