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The Hope and Hype of Machine Learning

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While machine learning is still in its infancy, it is a technology used widespread by both commercial industries and government today, and most may not even realize it. There are fears about the technology as taking over peoples’ jobs; we’re here to rest. The best way to understand something is to shed a little light on the subject.

So, what is machine learning? Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence (not the terminator kind), comprised of algorithms designed to make slightly improved decisions over time as more and more raw data churned through the algorithms.

Let’s break it down a little bit. Think of your email’s spam filter as a software application with machine learning capability. Every day you are receiving more and more emails. As those emails arrive in your email account, a decision-tool determines if the email content is junk or something of value. If the email is understood to be junk, it moves to a spam folder or quarantined. When that happens, you as the “human-in-the-loop” can intervene. Upon intervention, you contribute to the algorithm’s learning. Once you indicate that the email should not isolate as junk, future emails from specific senders will be approved by the decision-tool and hit your inbox. That is machine learning.

How does this apply to document management, electronic forms, and records management? MCCi partnered with ABBYY to leverage machine learning technology. ABBYY’s FlexiCapture auto-learning capabilities help accelerate production and reduce ongoing system support and maintenance costs.

The technology trains your system to execute data extraction from irregular document layouts while retaining administrator controls to edit, fine-tune, or discard auto-learning results. ABBYY continuously learns and improves based on feedback from a user’s interactions and natural language process, enabling continual efficiency gains.

The hype around machine learning is that you can set it, forget it to solve operational bottlenecks, quality concerns, and provide unlimited bandwidth for processed items. That is not the case. On the contrary, the growth of machine learning will continue to improve algorithms over time.

The human-in-loop becomes more intuitive and seamless, and the value it brings organizations continues to rise.

Machine learning isn’t the boogieman but a technology we all can embrace as we strive to execute front-end and back-end business processes more efficiently and accurately.

Are you interested in learning more about implementing machine learning within your organization? Let’s start the conversation!