Category: Machine Learning

Home / Category: Machine Learning

8 common myths about machine learning

Artificial Intelligence and the idea of it has always been around be it research or sci-fi movies. But the advances in AI wasn’t drastic until recently. Guess what changed? The focus moved from vast AI to components of AI such as machine learning, natural language processing, and other technologies that make it possible.

Learning models which form the core of AI started being used extensively. This shift of focus to Machine Learning gave rise to various libraries and tools which make ML models easily accessible. Here are some common myths surrounding Machine Learning:

Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence are all the same

In a recent survey by TechTalks, it was discovered that more than 30% of the companies wrongly claim to use Advance Machine Learning models to improve their operations and automate the process. Most people use AI and ML synonymously. How different are AI, ML and Deep Learning?

Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence which has learning algorithms powered by annotated data which learn through experiences. There are primarily two types of learning algorithms.

Supervised Learning algorithms draw patterns based on the input and output values of the datasets. It starts predicting the outputs from the training data sets with possible input and output values.

Unsupervised learning models look at all the data fed into the model and find out patterns in the data. It uses unstructured and unlabeled data sets.

Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, is a very broad area of Computer Science, where robust engineering and technological advances are used to build systems that need minimal or no human intelligence. Everything from the auto-player in video games to predictive analytics used to forecast sales fall under the same roof using some Machine Learning algorithms

Deep Learning uses a set of ML algorithms to model abstraction in data sets with system architecture. It is an approach used to build and train neural networks.

All data is useful to train a Machine Learning model

Another common myth around Machine learning models is that all the data is useful to improve the outputs of the model. The raw data is never clean and representative of the outputs.

To train the Machine Learning models to learn the accurate outputs expected, data sets need to be labeled with relevance. Irrelevant data needs to be removed.

The accuracy of the model is directly correlated to the quality of the data sets. The quality of the trained data sets results in better accuracy rather than a huge amount of raw/unlabelled data.

Building an ML system is easy with unsupervised learning and ‘Black Box Models’

The most business decision will require very specific evaluation, to make strategic data-driven decisions. Unsupervised and ‘Black Box’ models use algorithms randomly and highlight data patterns making it biased towards patterns which aren’t relevant.

The usability and relevance of these patterns to the objective the business the focus is on are a lot less when these models are used. Black box systems do not reveal what patterns they have used to arrive at certain conclusions. Supervised or Reinforcement learning trained with curated, labeled data sets can surgically investigate the data and give us the desired outputs.

ML will replace people and kill jobs

The usual notion around any advanced technology is that it will replace people and make people jobless. According to Erik Brynjolfsson and Daniel Rock, with MIT, and TomMitchell of Carnegie Mellon University, ML will kill the automated or painfully redundant tasks, not jobs.

Humans will spend more time on decision making jobs rather than repetitive tasks which ML can take care of. The job market will see a significant reduction in repetitive job roles but the wave of ML, AI will create a new sector of jobs to handle the data, train it and derive outcomes based on the ML systems.

Machine Learning can only discover correlations between objects and not causal relationships

A common perception of Machine Learning is that it discovers easy correlations and not insightful outputs. Machine Learning used in conjunction with thematic roles and relationship models of NLP will provide rich insights. Contrary to common belief, ML can identify causal relationships. This is commonly used to try out different use cases and observing the consequences of the cases.

Machine learning can work without human intervention

Most decisions from the ML models will need human intelligence and intervention. For examples, an airlines company may adopt ML algorithms to get better insights and influence best ticket prices. Data sets are constantly updated and complex algorithms may be run on it.

But, to decide the price of a flight by the system itself has a lot of loopholes, the company will hire an analyst who will analyze the data and sets prices with the help of models and their analytical skills, not just relying on the model alone.

The reasoning behind the decision making is still a human intelligence one. Complete control should not be rested on models for optimal results.

Machine Learning is the same as Data mining

Data mining is a technique to examine databases and discover the properties of data sets. The reasons its often confused is because Data Analytics uses these data sets using data visualization techniques. Whereas, Machine Learning is a subfield which uses curated data sets to teach systems the desired outputs and make predictions.

There is similarity when unsupervised learning Ml models use datasets to draw insights from them, which is precisely what data mining does. Machine Learning can be used for data mining.

The common confusion between the two arises due to a new term being used extensively, Data Science. Most Data mining-focused professionals and companies are leaning towards using Data science and analytics now causing more confusion.

ML takes a few months to master and is simple

To be an efficient ML Engineer, a lot of experience and research is needed. Contrary to the hype, ML is more than importing existing libraries in languages and using Tensor Flow or Keras. These can be used with minimal training but takes an experienced hand to provide accuracy.

A lot of intense Machine Learning focussed products require intense research on topics and even coming up with approaches using methods that are in discussion at a university or research level. Already existing libraries solve very generic problems people are trying to solve and not really insightful data. A deeper understanding of algorithms is needed to create an accurate model with an improved f1(accuracy) score.

To sum up, there is an overlap of concepts and models in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science and Deep Learning. However, the goal and science of the subfields vastly vary. To build completely automated AI systems, all the fields become crucial and play a distinct role.

Understanding the difference between AI, ML & NLP models

Technology has revolutionized our lives and is constantly changing and progressing. The most flourishing technologies include Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Deep Learning. These are the most trending technologies growing at a fast pace and are today’s leading-edge technologies.

These terms are generally used together in some contexts but do not mean the same and are related to each other in some or the other way. ML is one of the leading areas of AI which allows computers to learn by themselves and NLP is a branch of AI.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial refers to something not real and Intelligence stands for the ability of understanding, thinking, creating and logically figuring out things. These two terms together can be used to define something which is not real yet intelligent.

AI is a field of computer science that emphasizes on making intelligent machines to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. It basically deals with intelligence exhibited by software and machines.

While we have only recently begun making meaningful strides in AI, its application has encompassed a wide spread of areas and impressive use-cases. AI finds application in very many fields, from assisting cameras, recognizing landscapes, and enhancing picture quality to use-cases as diverse and distinct as self-driving cars, autonomous robotics, virtual reality, surveillance, finance, and health industries.

History of AI

The first work towards AI was carried out in 1943 with the evolution of Artificial Neurons. In 1950, Turing test was conducted by Alan Turing that can check the machine’s ability to exhibit intelligence.

The first chatbot was developed in 1966 and was named ELIZA followed by the development of the first smart robot, WABOT-1. The first AI vacuum cleaner, ROOMBA was introduced in the year 2002. Finally, AI entered the world of business with companies like Facebook and Twitter using it.

Google’s Android app “Google Now”, launched in the year 2012 was again an AI application. The most recent wonder of AI is “the Project Debater” from IBM. AI has currently reached a remarkable position

The areas of application of AI include

  • Chat-bots – An ever-present agent ready to listen to your needs complaints and thoughts and respond appropriately and automatically in a timely fashion is an asset that finds application in many places — virtual agents, friendly therapists, automated agents for companies, and more.
  • Self-Driving Cars: Computer Vision is the fundamental technology behind developing autonomous vehicles. Most leading car manufacturers in the world are reaping the benefits of investing in artificial intelligence for developing on-road versions of hands-free technology.
  • Computer Vision: Computer Vision is the process of computer systems and robots responding to visual inputs — most commonly images and videos.
  • Facial Recognition: AI helps you detect faces, identify faces by name, understand emotion, recognize complexion and that’s not the end of it.

What is Machine Learning?

One of the major applications of Artificial Intelligence is machine learning. ML is not a sub-domain of AI but can be generally termed as a sub-field of AI. The field of machine learning is concerned with the question of how to construct computer programs that automatically improve with experience.

Implementing an ML model requires a lot of data known as training data which is fed into the model and based on this data, the machine learns to perform several tasks. This data could be anything such as text, images, audio, etc…

 Machine learning draws on concepts and results from many fields, including statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, information theory, biology, cognitive science, computational complexity and control theory. ML itself is a self-learning algorithm. The different algorithms of ML include Decision Trees, Neural Networks, SEO, Candidate Elimination, Find-S, etc.

History of Machine Learning

The roots of ML lie way back in the 17th century with the introduction of Mechanical Adder and Mechanical System for Statistical Calculations. Turing Test conducted in 1950 was again a turning point in the field of ML.

The most important feature of ML is “Self-Learning”. The first computer learning program was written by Arthur Samuel for the game of checkers followed by the designing of perceptron (neural network). “The Nearest Neighbor” algorithm was written for pattern recognition.

Finally, the introduction of adaptive learning was introduced in the early 2000s which is currently progressing rapidly with Deep Learning is one of its best examples.

Different types of machine learning approaches are:

Supervised Learning uses training data which is correctly labeled to teach relationships between given input variables and the preferred output.

Unsupervised Learning doesn’t have a training data set but can be used to detect repetitive patterns and styles.

Reinforcement Learning encourages trial-and-error learning by rewarding and punishing respectively for preferred and undesired results.

ML has several applications in various fields such as

  • Customer Service: ML is revolutionizing customer service, catering to customers by providing tailored individual resolutions as well as enhancing the human service agent capability through profiling and suggesting proven solutions. 
  • HealthCare: The use of different sensors and devices use data to access a patient’s health status in real-time.
  • Financial Services: To get the key insights into financial data and to prevent financial frauds.
  • Sales and Marketing: This majorly includes digital marketing, which is currently an emerging field, uses several machine learning algorithms to enhance the purchases and to enhance the ideal buyer journey.

What is Natural Language Processing?

Natural Language Processing is an AI method of communicating with an intelligent system using a natural language.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) and its variants Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Natural Language Generation (NLG) are processes which teach human language to computers. They can then use their understanding of our language to interact with us without the need for a machine language intermediary.

History of NLP

NLP was introduced mainly for machine translation. In the early 1950s attempts were made to automate language translation. The growth of NLP started during the early ’90s which involved the direct application of statistical methods to NLP itself. In 2006, more advancement took place with the launch of IBM’s Watson, an AI system which is capable of answering questions posed in natural language. The invention of Siri’s speech recognition in the field of NLP’s research and development is booming.

Few Applications of NLP include

  • Sentiment Analysis – Majorly helps in monitoring Social Media
  • Speech Recognition – The ability of a computer to listen to a human voice, analyze and respond.
  • Text Classification – Text classification is used to assign tags to text according to the content.
  • Grammar Correction – Used by software like MS-Word for spell-checking.

What is Deep Learning?

The term “Deep Learning” was first coined in 2006. Deep Learning is a field of machine learning where algorithms are motivated by artificial neural networks (ANN). It is an AI function that acts lie a human brain for processing large data-sets. A different set of patterns are created which are used for decision making.

The motive of introducing Deep Learning is to move Machine Learning closer to its main aim. Cat Experiment conducted in 2012 figured out the difficulties of Unsupervised Learning. Deep learning uses “Supervised Learning” where a neural network is trained using “Unsupervised Learning”.

Taking inspiration from the latest research in human cognition and functioning of the brain, neural network algorithms were developed which used several ‘nodes’ that process information like how neurons do. These networks have multiple layers of nodes (deep nodes and surface nodes) for different complexities, hence the term deep learning. The different activation functions used in Deep Learning include linear, sigmoid, tanh, etc.…

History of Deep Learning

The history of Deep Learning includes the introduction of “The Back-Propagation” algorithm, which was introduced in 1974, used for enhancing prediction accuracy in ML.  Recurrent Neural Network was introduced in 1986 which takes a series of inputs with no predefined limit, followed by the introduction of Bidirectional Recurrent Neural Network in 1997.  In 2009 Salakhutdinov & Hinton introduced Deep Boltzmann Machines. In the year 2012, Geoffrey Hinton introduced Dropout, an efficient way of training neural networks

Applications of Deep Learning are

  • Text and Character generation – Natural Language Generation.
  • Automatic Machine Translation – Automatic translation of text and images.
  • Facial Recognition: Computer Vision helps you detect faces, identify faces by name, understand emotion, recognize complexion and that’s not the end of it.
  • Robotics: Deep learning has also been found to be effective at handling multi-modal data generated in robotic sensing applications.

Key Differences between AI, ML, and NLP

Artificial intelligence (AI) is closely related to making machines intelligent and make them perform human tasks. Any object turning smart for example, washing machine, cars, refrigerator, television becomes an artificially intelligent object. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the terms often used together but aren’t the same.

ML is an application of AI. Machine Learning is basically the ability of a system to learn by itself without being explicitly programmed. Deep Learning is a part of Machine Learning which is applied to larger data-sets and based on ANN (Artificial Neural Networks).

The main technology used in NLP (Natural Language Processing) which mainly focuses on teaching natural/human language to computers. NLP is again a part of AI and sometimes overlaps with ML to perform tasks. DL is the same as ML or an extended version of ML and both are fields of AI. NLP is a part of AI which overlaps with ML & DL.

7 Best Practices For Creating Training Data

The success of any AI or ML model is determined by the quality of the data used. A sophisticated model using a bad dataset would eventually fail to function the way it was expected to. With such models continually learning from the data provided, it’s necessary to build datasets that can help these model achieve their objectives. 

If you’re still unsure what training datasets are and why are they important to the success of your system. Here’s a quick read to get you up to speed with training data and building high-quality training sets.

While building a dataset sounds like a mundane and tedious task, it determines the success or failure of the model being built. To help you look past the dreadful hours spent on collecting, tagging, and labeling data, here are 7 things to follow when making training datasets. 

Avoid Target Leakage

When building training data for AI/ML models, it’s necessary to avoid any target leakage or data leakage. The issue of data leakage arises when the model is trained on parameters that might not be available during real-time prediction. Since the system already knows all possible outcomes, the output would be unrealistically accurate during training. 

Since data leakage causes the model to overrepresent its generalization error, making it useless for real-world applications. It’s necessary to remove any data from the training set that might not be known during real-time prediction to avoid target leakage issue. Furthermore, to mitigate the risks of data leakage, its necessary to involve business analysts and professionals with the domain expertise to be involved in all aspects of data science projects from problem specifications to data collection to deployment.  

Avoid Training-Serving Skew In Training Sets

Training-serving skew problem arises when the performance during training is different from the performance during serving. The most common reasons for this issue to arise are the discrepancy in how data is handled in training compared to serving, change in data between training and serving. And, the feedback loop between the model and algorithm. 

Exposing a model to training-serving skew can negatively impact the model’s performance, and the model might not function the way it’s expected to. One way to ensure you avoid training-serving skew is by measuring the skew. You can do this by, measuring the difference the performance on training data and the holdout data, the difference between holdout data and ‘next-day’ data, and the difference in performance between ‘next-day’ data and live data.

Make Information Explicit Where Needed 

As mentioned earlier, when working on data science projects, it’s important to involve business analysts and professionals of the domain to be part of the projects. Machine learning algorithms use a set of input data to create an output. This input data is called features, structured in the form of columns. 

Domain professionals can help in feature engineering, i.e., understanding those features that can make the model work. This helps in two primary ways, preparing proper input datasets compatible with the algorithm used and improving the accuracy of the model over time.

Avoid Biased Data When Building Training Sets

When building a training dataset for your AI/ML model, it’s important to make sure the training data is a representation of the entire universe of data. And, not biased towards a set of inputs. 

For example, an e-commerce website that ships products globally wants to use a chatbot to help its users shop better and faster. In such a scenario, if the training data is built only using exchanges/queries from customers of only one region. The system might throw exceptions when a customer from any other region interacts with the bot, given the nuances of language. So, to make sure the system is free of bias, the training data should contain exchanges of all kind of users the e-commerce shop caters to. 

Ensure Data Quality Is Maintained In Training Data 

As stated earlier, the quality of your training data is an essential factor in determining the accuracy and success of AI/ML models. A training dataset that’s filled with bias, and features not available in real-world scenarios would result in the model showing outputs that are far from ground-truths. 

We at Bridged.co have employed two ways of ensuring every dataset we deliver is of the highest quality – consensus approach, and sample review. These approaches make sure that the models trained using these datasets produce results as close to ground-realities as possible. 

Use Enough Training Data

It just isn’t enough to have good-quality data. The dataset you use to train your model must cover all possible variations of the features chosen to train the system. Failing to do so can cause the system function abnormally and produce inaccurate results.

The more features you use to train your model more the data that will be needed to sufficiently train the system. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ when deciding the size of training data. A good rule of thumb for classification models is to have at least 10 times the number of data as you have features, and for regression models, 50 times the number of data as you have features.

Set Up An In-house Workforce or Get A Fully-managed Training Data Solution Provider

Building a dataset is no overnight task. It’s a long tedious process that stretches on for weeks if not months. 

It would be ideal to have an ops team in-house whom you can train, monitor, and ensure the highest quality is maintained. However, it isn’t a scalable solution. 

You can also check out training data solution providers, such as ourselves, to help you with all your training data requirements. A fully-managed solution provider doesn’t just provide you with quality control but also ensure your requirements can be met even if at scale. 


It’s a no brainer that a good quality training dataset is fundamental to the success of your AI/ML systems. These important tips are bound to make sure the training data you build is of the highest quality and helps your system produce accurate results. 

Understanding training data and how to build high-quality training data for ai/ml models

We are living in one of the most exciting times, where faster processing power and new technological advancements in AI and ML are transcending the ways of the past. From conversational bots helping customers make purchases online to self-driving cars adding a new dimension of comfort and safety for commuters. While these technologies continue to grow and transform lives, what makes them so powerful is data.

Tons and tons of data.

Machine Learning systems, as the name suggests, are systems that are constantly learning from the data being consumed to produce accurate results.

If the right data is used, the system designed can find relations between entities, detect patterns, and make decisions. However, not all data or datasets used to build such models are treated equally.

Data for AI & ML models can be essentially classified into 5 categories: training dataset, testing dataset, validation dataset, holdout dataset, and cross-validation dataset. For the purpose of this article, we’ll only be looking at training dataset and cover the following topics.

What Is Training Data

Training data also called training dataset or training set or learning set, is foundational to the way AI & ML technologies work. Training data can be defined as the initial set of data used to help AI & ML models understand how to apply technologies such as neural networks to learn and produce accurate results.

Training sets are materials through which an AI or ML models learn how to process information and produce the desired output. Machine learning uses neural network algorithms that mimic the abilities of the human brain to take in diverse inputs and weigh them, to produce neural activations, in individual neurons. These provide a highly detailed model of how human thought process works.

Given the diverse types of systems available, training datasets are structured in a different way for different models. For conversational bots, the training set contains the raw text that gets classified and manipulated.

On the other hand, for convolution models using image processing and computer vision, the training set consists of a large volume of images. Given the complexity and sophistication of these models, it uses iterative training on each image to eventually understand the patterns, shapes, and subjects in a given image.

In a nutshell, training sets are labeled and organized data needed to train AI and ML models.

Why Are Training Datasets Important

When building training sets for AI & ML models, one needs huge amounts of relevant data to help these models make the most optimal decision. Machine learning allows computer systems to tackle very complex problems and deal with inherent variations of hundreds and thousands or millions of variables.

The success of such models is highly reliant on the quality of the training set used. A training set that accounts for all variations of the variables in the real world would result in developing more accurate models. Just like in the case of a company collecting survey data to know about their consumer, larger the sample size for the survey is, more accurate the conclusion will be.

If the training set isn’t large enough, the resultant system won’t be able to capture all variations of the input variables resulting in inaccurate conclusions.

While AI & ML models need huge amounts of data, they also need the right kind of data, as the system learns from this set of data. Having a sophisticated algorithm for AI & ML models isn’t enough when the data used to train these systems are bad or faulty. Training a system on a poor dataset or a dataset that contains wrong data, the system will end up learning wrong lessons, and generate wrong results. And eventually, not work the way it is expected to. On the contrary, a basic algorithm using a high-quality dataset will be able to produce accurate results and function as expected.

For example, in the case of a speech recognition system. The system can be made on a mathematical model to train the system on textbook English. However, this system is bound to show inaccurate results.

When we talk about language, there is a massive difference between textbook English and how people actually speak. To this add the factors – such as voice, dialects, age, gender – varying among speakers. This system would struggle to handle any cases or conversations that stray from the textbook English used to train it. For inputs having loose English or a different accent or use of slang, the system would fail to function for the purpose it was created.

Also, in a case, such a system is used to comprehend a text chat or email it would throw unexpected results. As a system trained in textbook English would fail to account for abbreviations and emojis used, which are commonly used among people in everyday conversations.

So, to build an accurate AI or ML model, it’s essential to build a comprehensive and high-quality training dataset. To help these systems learn the right lessons and formulate the right responses. While it’s a substantial task to generate such a high volume of data, it is necessary to do so.

How To Build A Training Dataset

Now, that we have understood why training data are integral to the success of an AI or ML model, it’s necessary to know how to build a training dataset.

The process of building a training dataset can be classified into 3 simple steps: data collection, data preprocessing, and data conversion. Let’s take a look at each of these steps and how it helps in building a high-quality training set.

Data Collection

The first step in making a training set is choosing the right number of features for a particular dataset. The data should be consistent and have the least amount of missing values. In case a feature has 25% to 30% of missing values, then this feature should not be considered to be part of the training set.

However, there might be instances when such features might be closely related to another feature. In such a case, it’s advisable to impute and handle the missing values correctly to achieve desired results. At the end of the data collection step, you should clearly know how to handle preprocessing data.

Data Preprocessing

Once the data has been collected, we enter the data preprocessing stage. In this step, we collect the right data from the complete data set and build a training set. The steps to be followed here are:

  • Organize and Format: If the data is scattered across multiple files or sheets, it’s necessary to compile all this data to form a single dataset. This includes finding the relation between these datasets and preprocess to form a dataset of required dimensions.
  • Data Cleaning: Once all the scattered data is compiled to a single dataset, it’s important to handle the missing values. And, remove any unwanted characters from the dataset.
  • Feature extraction: The final step in the data preprocessing step deals with finalizing the right number of features required for the training set. One has to analyze and find out features that are absolutely important for the model to function accurately and select them for faster computations and low memory consumption.

Data Conversion

The data conversion stage consists of the following steps,

  • Scaling: Once the data is placed, it’s necessary to scale the data as per a definite value. For example, a bank application containing transaction amount being important, then it’s required to scale the data on transaction value to build a robust model.
  • Disintegration and composition: There might be certain features in the training data that can be better understood by the model when split. For example, time-series function, where days, month, year, hour, minutes, and seconds can be split for better processing.
  • Composition: While some features can be better utilized when disintegrated, other features can be better understood when combined with another.

This covers the necessary steps to be taken to build a high-quality training set for AI & ML models. While this might help you formulate a framework that helps you build training sets for your system, here’s how you can put these frameworks into action.

Dedicated In-house Team

One of the easiest way for you could be to hire an intern to help you with the task of collecting and preprocessing data. You can also set up a dedicated ops team to help with your training set requirements. While this method provides you with greater control over the quality, it isn’t scalable, and you’ll be forced to look for more efficient methods eventually.

Outsource Training Set Creation

If having an in-house team doesn’t cut it, it would be a smarter move to outsource it, right? Well, not entirely.

Outsourcing your training set creation has its own set of troubles. Right from training people to ensuring quality is maintained to making sure people aren’t cutting slack.

Training Data Solutions Providers

With AI & ML technologies continuing to grow and more companies joining the bandwagon to roll out AI-enabled tools. There are a plethora of companies that can help you with your AI/ML training dataset requirement. We at Bridged.co have served prominent enterprises delivering over 50 million datasets.

And that is everything you need to know about training data, and how to go about creating one that helps you build powerful, robust, and accurate systems.

How is big data generated

Why big data analytics is indispensable for today’s businesses.

Ours is the age of information technology. Progress in IT has been exponential in the 21st century, and one direct consequence is the amount of data generated, consumed, and transferred. There’s no denying that the next step in our technological advancement involves real-life implementations of artificial intelligence technology.

In fact, one could say we are already in the midst of it. And there’s a definitive link between the large amounts of digital information being produced — called Big Data when it exceeds the processing capabilities of traditional database tools — and how new machine learning techniques use that data to assist the development of AI.

However, this isn’t the only application of Big Data even if it has become the most promising. Big data analytics is now a heavily researched field which helps businesses uncover ground-breaking insights from the available data to make better and informed decisions. According to IDC, big data and analytics had market revenue of more than $150 billion worldwide in 2018.

What is the scale of data that we are dealing with today?

  • ·It is estimated that there will be 10 billion mobile devices in use by 2020. This is more than the entire world population, and this is not including laptops and desktops.
  • We make over 1 billion Google searches every day.
  • Around 300 billion emails are sent every day.
  • More than 230 million tweets are written every day.
  • More than 30 petabytes (that’s 1015 bytes) of user-generated data is stored, accessed and analyzed on Facebook.
  • On YouTube alone, 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
  • In just 5 years, the number of connected smart devices in the world will be more than 50 billion — all of which will collect, create, and share data.
Social media platforms have shot up human-generated data exponentially.

As an aside, in an attempt to impress the potential here, let me state that we analyze less than 1% of all available data. The numbers are staggering!

Before we get to classifying all this data, let us understand the three main characteristics of what makes big data big.

The 3 Vs of Big Data

3 Vs of Big Data
Image Credit: workology

Volume

Volume refers to the amount of data generated through various sources. On social media sites, for example, we have 2 billion Facebook users, 1 billion on YouTube, and 1 billion together on Instagram and Twitter. The massive quantities of data contributed by all these users in terms of images, videos, messages, posts, tweets, etc. have pushed data analysis away from the now incapable excel sheets, databases, and other traditional tools toward big data analytics.

Velocity

This is the speed at which data is being made available — the rate of transfer over servers and between users has increased to a point where it is impossible to control the information explosion. There is a need to address this with more equipped tools, and this comes under the realm of big data.

Variety

There are structured and unstructured data in all the content being generated. Pictures, videos, emails, tweets, posts, messages, etc. are unstructured. Sensor-collected data from the millions of connected devices is what you can call semi-structured while records maintained by businesses for transactions, storage, and analyzed unstructured information are part of structured data.

Classification of Big Data

With the amount of information that is available to us today, it is important to classify and understand the nature of different kinds of data and the requirements that go into the analysis for each.

Human Generated Data

Most human-generated data is unstructured. But this data has the potential to provide deep insights for heavy user-optimization. Product companies, customer service organizations, even political campaigns these days rely heavily on this type of random data to inform themselves of their audience and to target their marketing approach accordingly.

Classification of Big Data
Image Credit: EMC

Machine Generated Data

Data created by various sensors, cameras, satellites, bio-informatic and health-care devices, audio and video analyzers, etc. combine to become the biggest source of data today. These can be extremely personalized in nature, or completely random. With the advent of internet-enabled smart devices, propagation of this data has become constant and omnipresent, providing user information with highly useful detail.

Data from Companies and Institutions

Records of finances, transactions, operations planning, demographic information, health-care records, etc. stored in relational databases are more structured and easily readable compared to disorganized online data. This data can be used to understand key performance indicators, estimate demands and shortage, prevalent factors, large-scale consumer mentality, and a lot more. This is the smallest portion of the data market but combined with consumer-centric analysis of unstructured data, can become a very powerful tool for businesses.

What we can do for you

Whether one is seeking a profit advantage or a market edge, carving a niche product or capturing crowd sentiment, developing self-driving cars or facial recognition apps, building a futuristic robot or a military drone, big data is available for all sectors to take their technology to the next level. Bridged is a place where such fruitful experiments in data are being utilized and we are endeavoring to provide assistance to companies who are willing to take advantage of this untapped but currently mandatory investment in big data.

The need for quality training data | Blog | Bridged.o

What is training data? Where to find it? And how much do you need?

Artificial Intelligence is created primarily from exposure and experience. In order to teach a computer system a certain thought-action process for executing a task, it is fed a large amount of relevant data which, simply put, is a collection of correct examples of the desired process and result. This data is called Training Data, and the entire exercise is part of Machine Learning.

Artificial Intelligence tasks are more than just computing and storage or doing them faster and more efficiently. We said thought-action process because that is precisely what the computer is trying to learn: given basic parameters and objectives, it can understand rules, establish relationships, detect patterns, evaluate consequences, and identify the best course of action. But the success of the AI model depends on the quality, accuracy, and quantity of the training data that it feeds on.

The training data itself needs to be tailored for the end-result desired. This is where Bridged excels in delivering the best training data. Not only do we provide highly accurate datasets, but we also curate it as per the requirements of the project.

Below are a few examples of training data labeling that we provide to train different types of machine learning models:

2D/3D Bounding Boxes

2D/3D bounding boxed | Blog | Bridged.co

Drawing rectangles or cuboids around objects in an image and labeling them to different classes.

Point Annotation

Point annotation | Blog | Bridged.co

Marking points of interest in an object to define its identifiable features.

Line Annotation

Line annotation | Blog | Bridged.co

Drawing lines over objects and assigning a class to them.

Polygonal Annotation

Polygonal annotation | Blog | Bridged.co

Drawing polygonal boundaries around objects and class-labeling them accordingly.

Semantic Segmentation

Semantic segmentation | Blog | Bridged.co

Labeling images at a pixel level for a greater understanding and classification of objects.

Video Annotation

Video annotation | Blog | Bridged.co

Object tracking through multiple frames to estimate both spatial and temporal quantities.

Chatbot Training

Chatbot training | Blog | Bridged.co

Building conversation sets, labeling different parts of speech, tone and syntax analysis.

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis | Blog | Bridged.co

Label user content to understand brand sentiment: positive, negative, neutral and the reasons why.

Data Management

Cleaning, structuring, and enriching data for increased efficiency in processing.

Image Tagging

Image tagging | Blog | Bridged.co

Identify scenes and emotions. Understand apparel and colours.

Content Moderation

Content moderation | Blog | Bridged.co

Label text, images, and videos to evaluate permissible and inappropriate material.

E-commerce Recommendations

Optimise product recommendations for up-sell and cross-sell.

Optical Character Recognition

Learn to convert text from images into machine-readable data.


How much training data does an AI model need?

The amount of training data one needs depends on several factors — the task you are trying to perform, the performance you want to achieve, the input features you have, the noise in the training data, the noise in your extracted features, the complexity of your model and so on. Although, as an unspoken rule, machine learning enthusiasts understand that larger the dataset, more fine-tuned the AI model will turn out to be.

Validation and Testing

After the model is fit using training data, it goes through evaluation steps to achieve the required accuracy.

Validation & testing of models | Blog | Bridged.co

Validation Dataset

This is the sample of data that is used to provide an unbiased evaluation of the model fit on the training dataset while tuning model hyper-parameters. The evaluation becomes more biased when the validation dataset is incorporated into the model configuration.

Test Dataset

In order to test the performance of models, they need to be challenged frequently. The test dataset provides an unbiased evaluation of the final model. The data in the test dataset is never used during training.

Importance of choosing the right training datasets

Considering the success or failure of the AI algorithm depends so much on the training data it learns from, building a quality dataset is of paramount importance. While there are public platforms for different sorts of training data, it is not prudent to use them for more than just generic purposes. With curated and carefully constructed training data, the likes of which are provided by Bridged, machine learning models can quickly and accurately scale toward their desired goals.

Reach out to us at www.bridgedai.com to build quality data catering to your unique requirements.


Development of artificial intelligence - a brief history | Blog | Bridged.co

The Three Laws of Robotics — Handbook of Robotics, 56th Edition, 2058 A.D.
1. First Law — A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. Second Law — A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. Third Law — A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Ever since Isaac Asimov penned down these fictional rules governing the behavior of intelligent robots — in 1942 — humanity has become fixated with the idea of making intelligent machines. After British mathematician Alan Turing devised the Turing Test as a benchmark for machines to be considered sufficiently smart, the term artificial intelligence was coined in 1956 at a summer conference in Dartmouth University, USA for the first time. Prominent scientists and researchers debated the best approaches to creating AI, favoring one that begins by teaching a computer the rules governing human behavior — using reason and logic to process available information.

There was plenty of hype and excitement about AI and several countries started funding research as well. Two decades in, the progress made did not deliver on the initial enthusiasm or have a major real-world implementation. Millions had been spent with nothing to show for it, and the promise of AI failed to become anything more substantial than programs learning to play chess and checkers. Funding for AI research was cut down heavily, and we had what was called an AI Winter which stalled further breakthroughs for several years.

Gary Kasparov vs IBM Deep blue | Blog | Bridged.co

Programmers then focused on smaller specialized tasks for AI to learn to solve. The reduced scale of ambition brought success back to the field. Researchers stopped trying to build artificial general intelligence that would implement human learning techniques and focused on solving particular problems. In 1997, for example, IBM supercomputer Deep Blue played and won against the then world chess champion Gary Kasparov. The achievement was still met with caution, as it showcased success only in a highly specialized problem with clear rules using more or less just a smart search algorithm.

The turn of the century changed the AI status quo for the better. A fundamental shift in approach was brought in that moved away from pre-programming a computer with rules of intelligent behavior, to training a computer to recognize patterns and relationships in data — machine learning. Taking inspiration from the latest research in human cognition and functioning of the brain, neural network algorithms were developed which used several ‘nodes’ that process information similar to how neurons do. These networks have multiple layers of nodes (deep nodes and surface nodes) for different complexities, hence the term deep learning.

Representation of neural networks | Blog | Bridged.co

Different types of machine learning approaches were developed at this time:

Supervised Learning uses training data which is correctly labeled to teach relationships between given input variables and the preferred output.

Unsupervised Learning doesn’t have a training data set but can be used to detect repetitive patterns and styles.

Reinforcement Learning encourages trial-and-error learning by rewarding and punishing respectively for preferred and undesired results.

Along with better-written algorithms, several other factors helped accelerate progress:

Exponential improvements in computing capability with the development of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) and Tensor Processing Units have reduced training times and enabled implementation of more complex algorithms.

Data repositories for AI systems | Blog | Bridged.co

The availability of massive amounts of data today has also contributed to sharpening machine learning algorithms. The first significant phase of data creation happened with the spread of the internet, with large scale creation of documents and transactions. The next big leap was with the universal adoption of smartphones generating tons of disorganized data — images, music, videos, and docs. We have another phase of data explosion today with cloud networks and smart devices constantly collecting and storing digital information. With so much data available to train neural networks on potential scores of use-cases, significant milestones can be surpassed, and we are now witnessing the result of decades of optimistic strides.

  • Google has built autonomous cars.
  • Microsoft used machine learning to capture human movement in the development of Kinect for Xbox 360.
  • IBM’s Watson defeated previous winners on the television show Jeopardy! where contestants need to come up with general knowledge questions based on given clues.
  • Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Voice Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, etc. are well-equipped conversational AI assistants that process language and perform tasks based on voice commands.
Developments in AI | Blog | Bridged.co
  • AI is becoming capable of learning from scratch the best strategies and gameplay to defeat human players in multiple games — Chinese board game Go by Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo, computer game DotA 2 by OpenAI are two prolific instances.
  • Alibaba language processing AI outscored top contestants in a reading and comprehension test conducted by Stanford University.
  • And most recently, Google Duplex has learned to use human-sounding speech almost flawlessly to make appointments over the phone for the user.
  • We have even created a Chatbot (called Eugene Goostman) that passed the Turing Test, 64 years after it was first proposed.

All the above examples are path-breaking in each field, but they also show the kind of specialized results that we have managed to attain. In addition, such achievements were realized only by organizations which have access to the best resources — finance, talent, hardware, and data. Building a humanoid bot which can be taught any task using a general artificial intelligence algorithm is still some distance away, but we are taking the right steps in that direction.

Bridged's service offerings | Blog | Bridged.co

Bridged is helping companies realize their dream of developing AI bots and apps by taking care of their training data requirements. We create curated data sets to train machine learning algorithms for various purposes — Self-driving Cars, Facial Recognition, Agri-tech, Chatbots, Customer Service bots, Virtual Assistants, NLP and more.


Computer vision and image annotation | Blog | Bridged

Understanding the Machine Learning technology that is propelling the future

Any computing system fundamentally works on the basic concepts of input and output. Whether it is a rudimentary calculator, our all-requirements-met smartphone, a NASA supercomputer predicting the effects of events occurring thousands of light-years away, or a robot-like J.A.R.V.I.S. helping us defend the planet, it’s always a response to a stimulus — much like how we humans operate — and the algorithms which we create teach the process for the same. The specifications of the processing tools determine how accurate, quick, and advanced the output information can be.

Computer Vision is the process of computer systems and robots responding to visual inputs — most commonly images and videos. To put it in a very simple manner, computer vision advances the input (output) steps by reading (reporting) information at the same visual level as a person and therefore removing the need for translation into machine language (vice versa). Naturally, computer vision techniques have the potential for a higher level of understanding and application in the human world.

While computer vision techniques have been around since the 1960s, it wasn’t till recently that they picked up the pace to become very powerful tools. Advancements in Machine Learning, as well as increasingly capable storage and computational tools, have enabled the rise in the stock of Computer Vision methods.

What follows is also an explanation of how Artificial Intelligence is born.

Understanding Images

Machines interpret images as a collection of individual pixels, with each colored pixel being a combination of three different numbers. The total number of pixels is called the image resolution, and higher resolutions become bigger sizes (storage size). Any algorithm which tries to process images needs to be capable of crunching large numbers, which is why the progress in this field is tangential to advancement in computational ability.

Understanding images | Blog | Bridged.co

The building blocks of Computer Vision are the following two:

Object Detection

Object Identification

As is evident from the names, they stand for figuring out distinct objects in images (Detection) and recognizing objects with specific names (Identification).

These techniques are implemented through several methods, with algorithms of increasing complexity providing increasingly advanced results.

Training Data

The previous section explains the architecture behind a computer’s understanding of images. Before a computer can perform the required output function, it is trained to predict such results based on data that is known to be relevant and at the same time accurate — this is called Training Data. An algorithm is a set of guidelines that defines the process by which a computer achieves the output — the closer the output is to the expected result, the better the algorithm. This training forms what is called Machine Learning.

This article is not going to delve into the details of Machine Learning (or Deep Learning, Neural Networks, etc.) algorithms and tools — basically, they are the programming techniques that work through the Training Data. Rather, we will proceed now to elaborate on the tools that are used to prepare the Training Data required for such an algorithm to feed on — this is where Bridged’s expertise comes into the picture.

Image Annotation

For a computer to understand images, the training data needs to be labeled and presented in a language that the computer would eventually learn and implement by itself — thus becoming artificially intelligent.

The labeling methods used to generate usable training data are called Annotation techniques, or for Computer Vision, Image Annotation. Each of these methods uses a different type of labeling, usable for various end-goals.

At Bridged AI, as reliable players for artificial intelligence and machine learning training data, we offer a range of image annotation services, few of which are listed below:

2D/3D Bounding Boxes

2D and 3d bounding boxes | Blog | Bridged.co

Drawing rectangles or cuboids around objects in an image and labeling them to different classes.

Point Annotation

Point annotation | Blog | Bridged.co

Marking points of interest in an object to define its identifiable features.

Line Annotation

Line annotation | Blog | Bridged.co

Drawing lines over objects and assigning a class to them.

Polygonal Annotation

Polygonal annotation | Blog | Bridged.co

Drawing polygonal boundaries around objects and class-labeling them accordingly.

Semantic Segmentation

Semantic segmentation | blog | Bridged.co

Labeling images at a pixel level for a greater understanding and classification of objects.

Video Annotation

Video annotation | blog | Bridged.co

Object tracking through multiple frames to estimate both spatial and temporal quantities.

Applications of Computer Vision

It would not be an exaggeration to say computer vision is driving modern technology like no other. It finds application in very many fields — from assisting cameras, recognizing landscapes, and enhancing picture quality to use-cases as diverse and distinct as self-driving cars, autonomous robotics, virtual reality, surveillance, finance, and health industries — and they are increasing by the day.

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition | Blog | Bridged.co

Computer Vision helps you detect faces, identify faces by name, understand emotion, recognize complexion and that’s not the end of it.

The use of this powerful tool is not limited to just fancying photos. You can implement it to quickly sift through customer databases, or even for surveillance and security by identifying fraudsters.

Self-driving Cars

Self-driving cars | Blog | Bridged.co

Computer Vision is the fundamental technology behind developing autonomous vehicles. Most leading car manufacturers in the world are reaping the benefits of investing in artificial intelligence for developing on-road versions of hands-free technology.

Augmented & Virtual Reality

Augmented and virtual reality | Blog | Bridged.co

Again, Computer Vision is central to creating limitless fantasy worlds within physical boundaries and augmenting our senses.

Optical Character Recognition

An AI system can be trained through Computer Vision to identify and read text from images and images of documents and use it for faster processing, filtering, and on-boarding.

Artificial Intelligence is the leading technology of the 21st century. While doomsday conspirators cry themselves hoarse about the potential destruction of the human race at the hands of AI robots, Bridged.co firmly believes that the various applications of AI that we see around us today are just like any other technological advancement, only better. Artificial Intelligence has only helped us in improving the quality of life while achieving unprecedented levels of automation and leaving us amazed at our own achievements at the same time. The Computer Vision mission has only just begun.