Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that deals with teaching computer algorithms how to improve their results. This can happen in a supervised environment, in which humans tell the computer the correct answers and it learns from them. Or, it may occur in an unsupervised environment, in which the computer improves on its own.
This may sound like science fiction, but it’s a real—albeit unseen—technology that powers our modern world. For instance, Amazon uses machine learning to refine its recommendation algorithms: each new purchase you make gives Amazon’s recommendation engine more insight into what you like, and it adapts accordingly. Netflix uses machine learning to offer suggestions on what to binge-watch next.