Machine learning moves beyond the traditional model of computation. Instead of arriving at a definite reproducible answer through a series of calculations, machine learning — a branch of artificial intelligence — works instead on a series of statistical probabilities to suggest new solutions to a problem. This work is useful for such jobs as designing new materials, medical diagnosis, advanced game graphics, and so many other tasks.
Much of the early success in machine learning has come from supervised learning, where a clearly defined data set is already available for analysis. But work has been going on to move beyond this model, with the Reinforcement Learning, where an agent learns by interacting with its environment. Gathering even more momentum has been Deep Learning, which doesn’t require all the intermediate steps that supervised learning does. Instead, the idea is to let the Deep Learning neural nets find the answers on their own.
At The New Stack, we have focused our coverage of this emerging field mostly around two areas of scalable architecture. We are keeping a close eye on an emerging field of AIOps, where machine learning can influence and drive IT operations. AIOps should be able to help by automating the path from development to production, predicting the effect of deployment on production and automatically responding to changes in how the production environment is performing. Companies such as New Relic, OpsRamp, and Moogsoft have all invested heavily in this area,
Another area of machine learning we are covering closely is how Kubernetes and related cloud native technologies can expedite the machine learning lifecycle. Machine learning involves an entire IT cycle of technologies that are very early on in terms of productization: Data must be harvested and cleansed, models must be tested and the most useful models must be pressed into production, with a feedback loop of some sort to ensure the models can be updated. Emerging workflows such as Kubeflow and Anaconda can help streamline these processes.