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The value of machine learning

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that provides computers with the ability to grow and change when exposed to new data, without being explicitly programmed. In effect, it enables us to automate things, to make recommendations, to detect certain key things like food, for example.

Now, think about the technology around the driverless car. Effectively, what does that do? It’s using machine learning as a way to make predictive decisions based on key inputs that it sees from the environment around us. So whether you’re driving along and you’re, you know, you’re getting both sensor data, video data, audio data, data from things like GPS for example. And what that’s all doing is being aggregated into some decision mechanism to determine what the next best action is for a car. We have that applied across a number of different things, even in the marketing spectrum.

So next best action technologies and solutions are becoming extremely relevant in today’s environment. Think about your marketing activities, where in effect, you put in inputs, and then the system learns and does it itself.


  • Cookies: A major trend around machine learning is the Internet of Things, where basically things are connected to one thing versus the other.
  • Home automation: This is another key area where you’re putting inputs into a system, and then certain outputs are just happening automatically, because it knows the behavior, the predicting the behavior of what’s happening.
  • Fraud detection: For people working in data privacy areas, this is another key area that machine learning could be a massive help for.
  • Understanding customers: Think about the fact that you’re constantly trying to understand what your customers are doing, but you have datasets which just far outweigh the way that a human can predict or a human can detect some of these key things. Well, machine learning is the solution for that, because they can understand key behaviors and triggers, which then enable it to do key decisive actions.


Now, what are the advantages when we think about machine learning, particularly for marketers?

  • Massive data input: You can store and use a a significant amount of data in that sense.
  • Rapid processing: It can rapidly process, and within a few split seconds, and make key decisions.
  • Analysis and processing: It can make predictions of the analysis phase about what is going to happen next. So it can actually act quicker than any human can in this environment.
  • Action systems: It’s an action-orientated system, so there’s always an output to it, and there’s always a decisive moment around real-time that plays very strongly.
  • Learn from past behavior: It can learn from past behavior.

So in reality, you know, you can put certain inputs in, and then it can detect what’s going to happen for the future. Clearly there are other things and factors to consider around, you know, things can change in the environment, but also sophisticated machine learning can look after that as well now.

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Richie Mehta

Ritchie Mehta has had an eight-year corporate career with a number of leading organizations such as HSBC, RBS, and Direct Line Group. He then went on setting up a number of businesses.

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