You might have heard the term “machine learning” before, but do you actually know what it means? People throw that term around as if it’s magic, but just like all technology, it’s anything but. That said, it can be tricky to wrap your head around it at first.
It is worth learning about, though, especially if you’re interested in the Internet of Things. Machine learning is already used in some IoT applications, and it’s only going to be used more in the future.
A Quick Intro to Machine Learning
In a nutshell, machine learning is all about getting a computer to do something without explicitly telling it to do so. By default, a computer does exactly what you tell it to – no more, no less. Machine learning makes use of algorithms and sets of data to allow a computer to analyze that data and apply it to specific problems.
Machine learning is part of the larger world of artificial intelligence. Most machine learning works by feeding large sets of data into a program and letting it measure that data. Using this, it can determine what certain data has in common as well as what is unique.
Just reading this description, you’ve probably had at least a few products or services come to mind that use machine learning. Let’s take a look at some of the current applications of machine learning, as well as where it could go in the future.
How Is Machine Learning Used in IoT Now?
Anything that claims to be a “learning” product is likely using machine learning. This includes thermostats, vacuums, and smart home hubs like Amazon Alexa-powered devices and Google Home.
Machine learning lets these products adapt to how you use them. Do you always set your thermostat to a certain temperature at a certain time of day? Your smart thermostat with learn that over time and begin to automatically do that for you.
What Could Machine Learning Bring to IoT in the Future?
What we’re seeing in current IoT use cases is just the beginning of the benefits machine learning could provide. Right now, you still need to tell your IoT devices what you want them to do, but that won’t always be the case.
In the future, we’ll see more and more IoT devices doing what you want them to do automatically. In many cases, they may even do what you’re going to want them to do before you yourself are aware of it.
Moving forward, we’ll see more machine learning-powered convenience come to our homes. When your alarm senses you’re actually getting up instead of hitting snooze, it can warm the shower and put on a pot of coffee for you. On a cool winter morning, your car could start itself ten minutes before you’re ready to leave for work.
As you can probably tell from reading this article, at least familiarizing yourself with some machine learning concepts is crucial if you’re interested in IoT. If you’re working on advanced IoT projects, you’re going to want to learn how to use machine learning. This will help you keep up with where things are headed in the future.
While machine learning is important, it’s not the only thing you’ll want to learn about for IoT applications. Not sure where to get started? Take a look at our list of technical skills you need to be successful with IoT projects.