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Machine learning is a field of computer science that seeks to build computers capable of discovering meaningful information and making predictions about data. It is the core of artificial intelligence (AI) and has powered many aspects of modern technologies, from face recognition and natural language processing to automated self-driving cars.

The field is rapidly growing, and its applications have become ubiquitous.1 Google Translate’s online service uses machine learning to convert Chinese characters into English text with no human intervention. Machine-learning techniques were recently used to build AlphaGo,2 a robot that has defeated the world’s best players in Go, an ancient board game; developers have considered mastering the game as the highest AI achievement. Until AlphaGo demonstrated its prowess, the game was widely thought to be too intricate for machines to excel at because of the huge number of possible moves.

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Category: Science