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Technology & Analytics

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is one of the key technologies that’s increasingly valuable for retailers as more and more businesses take advantage of big data.

Before going any further, it’s important to understand what is meant by the term machine learning — it is related to artificial intelligence (AI) but the two aren’t the same. AI, broadly speaking, refers to a computer’s ability to make decisions in a way that imitates human logic.

However, machine learning is the way in which a computer can “learn” these logical rules without simply being programmed to do things a certain way. In other words, machine learning allows a computer to continuously update its understanding of the rules as it sees more examples of how humans react to various external factors.

This type of technology has become more widespread as hardware improvements make it possible to handle the sheer volume of data and run complex algorithms. Basically, machine learning is much easier to use these days because of technology has evolved to make it easier for retailers and consumers to use.

MiBD has developed a Product Matching Platform that combines the power of machine learning and automation, with the accuracy of human validation and curation, to deliver the most advanced, accurate, scalable, real-time product matching service.


What Is Natural Language Generation?

Natural Language Generation (NLG) software turns structured data into written narrative, writing like a human being but at the speed of thousands of pages per second. NLG makes data universally understandable and seeks to automate the writing of data-driven narratives like reports and more.

Importantly, while NLG software can write, it can’t “read”. NLG turns structured data into human language but it is not able to, for example, read a news story and pull figures out of it.

Next-generation NLG is software able to summarize larger amounts of data and able to explain WHY numbers are what they are.

NLG software is used by MiBD to automate the writing of written reports, but more broadly it fits into the data to data-driven decision-making workflow.