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ALUMNI CONNECT- "Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence" by Mr.Nitin Aggarwal, Quantitaive Analyst, Google

The Department of Industrial and Management Engineering, IIT Kanpur had the opportunity to host a Webinar by Mr. Nitin Agarwal, Quantitative Analyst, Google. The Alumni committee of MBA holds the credit for organizing the webinar. An alumnus of MBA-IIT Kanpur, Nitin Agarwal gave a lot of insight into the world of Machine learning.  The webinar started with the speaker asking our views on Machine Learning. As he explained Machine Learning is the process of making lot of small decisions so as to get an end outcome. The basic objective of machine learning is not to memorize older data set but to recognize a pattern from the given data so as to be able to take decisions on newer data set.  This is where it differs from Statistics. While statistics draws inference answering the question “what does the data mean?”, machine learning is all about prediction, which answers the question “Does it work well?”.  So statistics describes data while machine learning takes decisions based on that data.  The industry is gradually moving from Statistics to Machine Learning.
The speaker next explained the different categories of Machine Learning which include: Supervised, unsupervised, semi supervised and reinforcement. In case of supervised learning all the images were labelled and in case of unsupervised learning the images were not labelled at all. In semi supervised learning while some images are labelled, some are not.  It is this semi supervised learning which is where the industry is currently focussing on. The speaker touched upon the neural network and deep learning.  He also explained the different technologies that extensively use machine learning.  Some notables are, IBM Watson, Google Prediction API, Tensor flow etc. As an MBA student it is imperative that we know how to take business decisions based on the inference drawn from the data.
Finally Mr. Nitin advised us what courses we can take over the MOOCs as well as in our department so as to build a strong foundation in Analytics. He categorically emphasized the importance of continuous learning in this fast changing world and the need to update ourselves to the changing need of the industry. It was a very insightful and informative session and would help people take an informed decision, who want to build a career in Analytics.


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