What is Machine Learning?

There are several ways one can define machine learning, but the original definition by AI pioneer Arthur Samuel is “the field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without explicitly being programmed.” At a high level, machine learning allows a data scientist or computer programmer to provide input features, and in the supervised case target labels, to a specified algorithm with little manual overhead outside of data preparation. While it is up to a human to ultimately derive appropriate and interpretable insights, the computer is able to learn the relationships inherent in the data without any more input from the user than the data itself.