Machine Learning

Machine learning is a highly sophisticated technology that is changing the way we interact with computers and process data. With its ability to learn and improve over time, it is poised to play a major role in shaping the future of technology and innovation.

Author: Ana Nives Radovic
Publication: Fintechlopedia
Presented in association with: Visa Inc.

Machine Learning is a rapidly growing technology that has revolutionized the field of artificial intelligence. It is an advanced technique that allows computers to learn from data and make predictions without being explicitly programmed. Essentially, it is a kind of program that enables machines to learn and improve automatically, performing a variety of complex operations.

At its core, machine learning is all about identifying patterns and developing statistical predictions based on that data. This is achieved through the use of complex algorithms and mathematical models that analyze large datasets to identify patterns and make predictions.

One of the key features of machine learning is that it is a self-improving system. The more data it analyzes and processes, the more accurate and effective it becomes. This is in contrast to traditional programming, where the programmer explicitly instructs the computer on how to perform a given task.

Machine learning has numerous applications across a variety of fields, including healthcare, finance, and marketing. In healthcare, for example, machine learning algorithms can be used to analyze large datasets of patient records and identify patterns that can help doctors make more accurate diagnoses and treatment recommendations.

Similarly, in finance, machine learning algorithms can be used to analyze vast amounts of financial data to identify trends and make predictions about market performance. This can help traders and investors make more informed decisions about their investments.


Machine learning is a technology and a skill that empowers computers to learn and execute complex operations without human intervention. It is a subset of artificial intelligence that focuses on developing algorithms and models that learn from data and improve with experience.

Machine learning algorithms are dynamic, as they change and adjust over time based on the interaction with data. Data mining is the foundation of machine learning, as it involves extracting information from vast amounts of data to reveal patterns and enable statistical predictions. Hence, Big Data and Machine Learning are interconnected, where more data processed leads to more accurate predictions.

Machine learning is composed of three key components, including the algorithm that powers the decision-making process, the variables and functionalities that inform the decision, and the fundamental knowledge for which the answer is known and enables the system to learn.

The learning process starts with observations or data, such as examples, direct experience, or instructions, and then seeks patterns in the data to make better decisions in the future. The model is initially fed with parameter data from known responses, and the algorithm is executed to make adjustments until the output of the algorithm and the known response match. Subsequently, more data is fed into the system to train it and make more complex decisions.

In modern business, data is central to operations. Data-driven decision-making enables companies to stay competitive and relevant. Machine learning can play a crucial role in empowering businesses to use data to make informed decisions and provide value to customers.

In that regard, machine learning is a dynamic technology that enables computers to learn from data and improve with experience, and it is an essential tool for data-driven decision-making. The components of machine learning, such as algorithms, variables, functionalities, and fundamental knowledge, work together to make complex decisions and enable computers to learn automatically.


Machine learning has several broad categories that encompass its diverse applications. Understanding these categories is important in designing and implementing machine learning solutions that are fit for purpose.

The first category of machine learning is supervised learning. This category is the most common and widely used approach in machine learning. In supervised learning, the computer is presented with a set of labeled data, with the goal of learning to map inputs to outputs. The labeled data contains a set of inputs and their corresponding outputs or labels. The algorithm then learns the relationship between inputs and outputs, allowing it to accurately predict the output for new inputs. This approach is useful for tasks such as image classification, speech recognition, and natural language processing.

The second category of machine learning is unsupervised learning. This approach is different from supervised learning in that the algorithm is not given any labeled data. Instead, the algorithm is left to its own devices to identify patterns and structures in the data. The goal of unsupervised learning is to uncover hidden patterns and relationships within the data. This approach is useful in exploratory data analysis, clustering, and anomaly detection.

The third category of machine learning is reinforcement learning. In reinforcement learning, the computer interacts with an environment and learns from the feedback it receives. The goal is to learn a policy or a set of rules that maximizes the reward obtained from the environment. Reinforcement learning is useful for tasks such as robotics, game playing, and optimization.

Machine learning has diverse applications across several sectors, including industry, commerce, health, tourism and hospitality, financial services, energy, raw materials, and utilities. Machine learning can be used for a range of tasks, from equipment monitoring to pricing optimization.

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This content was brought to you by VISA, the global leader in digital payments, whose mission is to connect the world with an innovative and secure payment network to enable individuals, businesses, and economies to grow.

Visa is the general partner of the Fintechlopedia project, an electronic glossary containing all relevant elements of digital transactions and related phenomena, situations, processes, and innovations.


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