Every few years it seems like there is a new buzzword in the tech industry that appears in almost every article for a few months. Last year, this word was Blockchain, before that it was IoT. Lately, one phrase that has been on everyone’s tongues has been artificial intelligence and machine learning. And while most would say they understand these concepts, few of us would say we know specifically what kind of machine learning applications exist in the real world.

This leads us to wonder “What is machine learning?” and seek out brands that say they are at the ‘forefront of AI.’ However, in order to give you a better idea of the practical applications of these technologies, as well as a glimpse at what the future holds, we wanted to review 6 stand-out machine learning applications.

Ranging from big to small, each of these applications shows a different facet of this exciting technology and where it might lead. Let’s get started.

Brands using Machine Learning

First, let’s talk about brands that are making headway in the world of AI technology and machine learning applications. Now, one thing you should know is that while a multitude of different companies will claim that they are using AI, most of them are actually referring to machine learning. Actual artificial intelligence is still in its early phases and while large strides have been made, most of what we know as AI is just highly automated systems.

When it comes to machine learning, we are talking about a technology that can build on itself and ‘learn’ new ways to complete the same tasks, typically in a more efficient or effective way. Looking at the following brands, we will be seeing the forefront of this technology and the cutting edge of exactly what is possible with machine learning applications.

1. Google’s Neural Networks

Surprising to no-one, Google has been working on machine intelligence for the last few years and have already displayed some pretty impressive applications that show how powerful their technology has become. Using neural networks and who knows what else, Google is showing that with enough data and research, the sky is the limit when it comes to machine learning applications.

One of the most popular displays of their neural network system is known as the DeepMind network and was used to create some stunning recreations of classic art as well as completely new creations. While there are obviously more practical uses of this technology, it’s fun to see another more creative side to something like artificial intelligence.

2. Baidu’s Voice Search

Hot on the heels of Google’s own voice assistant, Chinese search engine Baidu is the next brand making moves in the machine learning space. Their product functions in a similar way to other search engines, allowing users to speak directly to their device to find what they are looking for. They have even begun to have a voice speak with you to answer your questions, which is where things get interesting.

You see, unlike other virtual assistants that use a real voice to answer questions, Baidu’s Deep Voice can generate entirely synthetic human voices that are very difficult to distinguish from genuine human speech. The deep neural network they use to perform this actually can ‘learn’ different things such as cadence, accent, and pitch, then replicating them in the speaker’s voice. Although this is still in early development, the amount of potential uses is exponential.

3. IBM’s Watson

Moving on to another familiar brand, IBM’s Watson is a machine learning application most famous for winning Jeopardy! However, IBM wants you to know that Watson is such much more than that. Most significantly, after being deployed in several hospitals and medical centers, Watson has shown an unique aptitude for making accurate recommendations for treatment of certain types of cancer.

While obviously it is fascinating to see the sort of paintings a neural network can come up with, this sort of machine learning application shows how important AI research and development can be. Custom healthcare software that can analyze, recommend, and even diagnose diseases from cancer to the common cold would have a world-changing impact, if and when it comes to fruition.

4. Salesforce’s Intelligent CRM

When it comes to understanding your customers, it either takes years of experience working as a marketing professional or a high sophisticated computer to find every analyze every aspect of a customer’s relationship with your brand. Thanks to Salesforce’s machine learning applications like Einstein, the latter option is now more readily available.

It will be interesting to see, as these machine learning applications become more advanced, exactly how they affect customer engagement and relationship marketing. The hope is that with greater insight into each step of the customer journey, marketers will be able to deliver better offerings at the exact right moment, leading to happier customer and better business.

Machine Learning on a larger scale

Now, so far, we have been looking at smaller scale machine learning applications that are being developed by specific brands. That being said, in order to see the larger picture and get a better idea of exactly what this technology is capable of, we need to look at the industry on a larger scale. While machine learning will be used for helping you stay efficient in your home, it has the potential to change the way our governments operate as well.

These next 2 machine learning applications show exactly how widespread and deep AI’s ability is when it comes to changing the way we run processes in the real world. These, even more than the work of Google and IBM (although they are no doubt involved), will ultimately be what defines machine learning and AI in the near future. Without further ado, let’s take a look.

5. Cybersecurity Defense

In a country like the United States, where so much of our daily lives revolves around the internet and the devices we use to access it, cybersecurity is a huge concern on the state and federal level. Thankfully, due to new progress in the world of machine learning applications, we are become more secure than ever before. As this improves and with potential advances in Blockchain technology, cyberattacks on a large scale will hopefully become a worry of the past.

According to experts on the subject, the reason machine learning tech is superior to typical firewalls when it comes to cybersecurity is that it runs automatically to find anomalies, without the need for prior knowledge. On top of that, as it reviews more instances of fraud or maleficence, it becomes better at detecting security breaches. It should be said this is being used at a high level and it will take additional development for us to see the full potential of this application.

6. Reduced Energy Use & Costs

Another major concern on a national level (or at least it should be), is reducing energy costs across the board and finding new ways to use less energy across the board. Thankfully, there are already AI and machine learning applications working on exactly this issue.

By analyzing historical data, these platforms have been able to learn and predict future energy loads down to a granular level and then offer potential opportunities to reduce waste and cut costs. Hopefully, this will only lead to new discoveries in the field and an improved ability to attack these problems.

Final thoughts

As you can see, artificial intelligence and machine learning applications are only just scratching the surface of what they are truly capable of. With the right guidance and the right use cases leading the way, our hope is that these applications will lead to a better and brighter world. After all, isn’t that kind of the point?