Machine Learning in Real Life: 5 Current Applications

Machine learning impacts our lives in a variety of ways, from travel to healthcare. Here are five ways ML is being used today.
Updated on May 8, 2024

Most of us don’t know it, but machine learning is powering innovative technologies that impact our lives in a variety of ways, from travel to healthcare. Here are five ways ML is being used today.

1. Medical diagnosis

ML systems are being used to review medical images and look for tumors, and make diagnoses from the pathology reports. One study showed that a computer found 52% of the cancers as much as a year before the patients were officially diagnosed. It’s also paving the way for more personalized treatments based on individual health data.

2. Natural Language Processing (NLP)

ML systems are getting better and better at understanding human language and responding in kind. Some applications of NLP include machine translation, speech recognition, and sentiment analysis. Think: Alexa and Siri being able to understand your request and respond accordingly.

3. Online search

Search engines uses machine learning to improve their results, constantly learning from a user’s behavior to deliver a better experience each time they search. For example, if you type “dolphins” into your browser, after a few minutes of seeing the way you poke around, Google (or Bing, or Yahoo…) will understand that you’re looking for the football team, not the marine mammal.

 (Learn more: Machine Learning at a Glance: Fast Facts for Top Marketers)

4. Smart cars

These cars use ML not only to drive themselves but also to learn about their owner’s preferences and automatically adjust based on their likes and dislikes, like setting the temp to 72 degrees and turning on the heated seats in the winter.

5. Marketing personalization

Machine learning helps retailers analyze huge data sets about their shoppers and deliver customized offers for each individual based on their behaviors, purchases, and preferences. As more is learned about each shopper, the system gets better at predicting the right products, the right ads, and the right bids.

Be sure to check out The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Machine Learning.

Smart Marketer's Guide to Machine Learning

Ann Pyle

Ann revels in finding the simplest and clearest way to convey a thought. Her favorite word is 'moxie', which she tries to embody whenever possible. She's been developing content strategies and writing for the tech and B2B space for more than a decade. This, along with her SEO and advertising agency ...

Senior Manager Global Content

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