We've talked a lot about "machine-learning" over the past couple of years, and it's for one good reason: small and large companies alike are taking it very seriously. Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported that Yahoo released a huge 13.5TB trove of data to be used for machine-learning, and at the same time, we recounted a couple of other good recent examples as well, such as Microsoft teaching computers to have a sense of humor and improved emotion detection.
If you're new to the machine-learning world and don't completely understand what it actually is, the simplest description is "teaching computers to learn". While human brains are incredible devices, computers can offer the unique ability to churn through data in a non-biased way with the backing of dozens or even thousands of other computers. Ultimately, these server clusters can make important discoveries, or simply help us find the data we need, quicker (eg: an image search giving us the best possible matches to our query.)
Diving into the world of machine-learning isn't going to be for everyone, but if you have an engineering background and would like to experiment, Google has got you covered.
Through training website Udacity, Google has deployed a free deep-learning course, revolving around its TensorFlow machine-learning software. This past November, Google released TensorFlow to GitHub for free, and the company has so far been impressed with the results. In those two months, the project was forked 4,000 times, and 16,000 people have "starred" it.
Google notes that this course is intensive, which shouldn't be much of a surprise given the subject at hand. It's split into four lectures which will help you gain the basic understanding of TensorFlow and machine-learning in general, and get you on the right path for expansion. By the end of the course, Google promises, you'll have implemented and trained a bunch of models on your own PC, and by that point, you should understand how to use data to help solve your own problems.
The fact that this course is 100% free, and is backed by experts on the subject, makes it well worth checking out by anyone who's up for a good challenge. Who knows - you might just catch the eye of Google if you excel.