5 The mechanics of learning

This chapter covers

  • Understanding how algorithms can learn from data
  • Reframing learning as parameter estimation, using differentiation and gradient descent
  • Walking through a simple learning algorithm
  • How PyTorch supports learning with autograd

With the blooming of machine learning that has occurred over the last decade, the notion of machines that learn from experience has become a mainstream theme in both technical and journalistic circles. Now, how is it exactly that a machine learns? What are the mechanics of this process--or, in words, what is the algorithm behind it? From the point of view of an observer, a learning algorithm is presented with input data that is paired with desired outputs. Once learning has ...

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