Machine learning and neural networks are an emerging technology; unsurprisingly, as with many things in the digital sphere, Google is at the forefront of this technology. Until very recently, even basic examples of the technology had been out of reach for most people, requiring substantial knowledge of both programming and data analysis to develop even the most basic neural network.
Google aims to change this through its recently-released Teachable Machine, which gives anyone with a webcam and an internet connection the ability to interact with a neural network and learn more about this emerging technology. You may be asking what is the point of machine learning, and what exactly does Google’s Teachable Machine do?
What is machine learning?
Machine learning is the emerging field of AI development that is promising to revolutionise many aspects of business. Basically, neural networks, as they are known, are taught to recognise patterns through exposure and some human direction. Eventually, they can sift through vast amounts of information, finding patterns and making connections far more efficiently than any human.
Neural networks are particularly promising for any field relying on large data sets and those needing repetitive activities. Once a neural network has been taught a task or a pattern, it will be able to recognise similar situations; in time, it will react properly to them.
What is Teachable Machine?
Teachable Machine provides a simple interface that allows users to teach a neural network to make a response, be it audio, text or a visual response, based on what the machine sees through the user’s webcam.
If provided with enough examples, and with consistent human reinforcement, the neural network can then react to facial expressions, hand gestures, specific items, or just about anything else that can be brought into frame.
Teachable Machine is not a massively useful tool in and of itself; however, it is providing a great deal of exposure to anyone, regardless of their current level of experience, to a largely unknown technology that is likely to define the digital sphere in the next decade.