chapter 8

Moving on: Extensions and Applications

Machine learning is a burgeoning new technology for mining knowledge from data, a technology that a lot of people are beginning to take seriously. We don't want to oversell it. The kind of machine learning we know is not about the big problems: futuristic visions of autonomous robot servants, philosophical conundrums of consciousness, metaphysical issues of free will, evolutionary—or theological—questions of where intelligence comes from, linguistic debates over language learning, psychological theories of child development, or cognitive explanations of what intelligence is and how it works. For us, it's far more prosaic: machine learning is about algorithms for inferring structure from data and ...

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