1 A machine-learning odyssey

This chapter covers

  • Machine-learning fundamentals
  • Data representation, features, and vector norms
  • Why TensorFlow?

Have you ever wondered whether there are limits to what computer programs can solve? Nowadays, computers appear to do a lot more than unravel mathematical equations. In the past half-century, programming has become the ultimate tool for automating tasks and saving time. But how much can we automate, and how do we go about doing so?

Can a computer observe a photograph and say, “Aha—I see a lovely couple walking over a bridge under an umbrella in the rain”? Can software make medical decisions as accurately as trained professionals can? Can software make better predictions about stock market performance ...

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