The Granddaddy of Supervised Artificial Intelligence—Regression

Wait, What? You're Pregnant?

In a recent Forbes article, it was reported that Target had created an artificial intelligence (AI) model that could predict when a customer was pregnant and use that information to start targeting them with pregnancy-related marketing and offers. New parents blow a lot of money on the accouterments of child rearing, and what better time to turn them into loyal customers than before the baby even shows up? They'll be buying the store brand diapers for years!

This story about Target is just one of many that have peppered the press recently. Watson won Jeopardy!. Netflix offered a million dollar prize to improve its recommendation system. The Obama re-election campaign used artificial intelligence to help direct ground, online, and on the air media and fundraising operations. And then there's Kaggle.com, where competitions are popping up to predict everything from whether a driver is getting sleepy to how much a grocery shopper will spend on groceries.

But those are only the headline-catching applications. AI is useful across nearly any industry you can think of. Your credit card company uses it to identify odd transactions on your account. The enemy in your shoot-em-up Xbox game runs on AI. There's e-mail spam filtering, tax fraud detection, spelling auto-correction, and friend recommendation on social networks.

Quite simply, a good AI model can help a business make better decisions, market ...

Get Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.