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Machine Learning – Can We Just Agree What This Means

Summary:  As a profession we do a pretty poor job of agreeing on good naming conventions for really important parts of our professional lives.  “Machine Learning” is just the most recent case in point.  It’s had a perfectly good definition for a very long time, but now the deep learning folks are trying to hijack the term.  Come on folks.  Let’s make up our minds.

As a profession we do a pretty poor job of agreeing on good naming conventions for really important parts of our professional lives.  How about ‘Big Data’?  Terrible.  It’s not about just size although if you asked most non-DS practitioners that’s what they’d say.  Or how about ‘Data Scientist’.  Nope.  Can’t really agree on that one either.

Now we come to ‘Machine Learning’.  If you asked 95 out of 100 data scientists, specifically those who are not doing deep learning they would unanimously agree that this definition hasn't changed over at least the last 15 years:

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