A Machine Learning Guide for Average Humans

Posted by alexis-sanders

Machine learning (ML) has grown consistently in worldwide prevalence. Its implications have stretched from small, seemingly inconsequential victories to groundbreaking discoveries. The SEO community is no exception. An understanding and intuition of machine learning can support our understanding of the challenges and solutions Google’s engineers are facing, while also opening our minds to ML’s broader implications.

The advantages of gaining an general understanding of machine learning include:

  • Gaining empathy for engineers, who are ultimately trying to establish the best results for users
  • Understanding what problems machines are solving for, their current capabilities and scientists’ goals
  • Understanding the competitive ecosystem and how companies are using machine learning to drive results
  • Preparing oneself for for what many industry leaders call a major shift in our society (Andrew Ng refers to AI as a “new electricity”)
  • Understanding basic concepts that often appear within research (it’s helped me with understanding certain concepts that appear within Google Brain’s Research)
  • Growing as an individual and expanding your horizons (you might really enjoy machine learning!)
  • When code works and data is produced, it’s a very fulfilling, empowering feeling (even if it’s a very humble result)

Credibility level 3

Need to Know: This mini-series YouTube-hosted playlist covers the very fundamentals of machine learning with opportunities to complete exercises.

Loved:

  • It is genuinely beginner-focused.
    • They make no assumption of any prior knowledge.
    • Gloss over potentially complex topics that may serve as noise.
    • Playlist ~2 hours
  • Very high-quality filming, audio, and presentation, almost to the point where it had its own aesthetic.
  • Covers some examples in scikit-learn and TensorFlow, which felt modern and practical.
  • Josh Gordon was an engaging speaker.

Disliked:

  • I could not get Dockers on Windows (suggested package manager). This wasn’t a huge deal, since I already had my AWS setup by this point; however, a bit of a bummer since it made it impossible to follow certain steps exactly.
    • Issue: Every time I tried to download (over the course of two weeks), the .exe file would recursively start and keep spinning until either my memory ran out, computer crashed, or I shut my computer down. I sent this to Docker’s Twitter account to no avail.

Lecturer:

Josh Gordon:

  • Developer..

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