Machine learning is a subfield of computer science that evolved from the study of pattern recognition and computational learning theory in artificial intelligence. Machine learning explores the construction and study of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data. Such algorithms operate by building a model from example inputs in order to make data-driven predictions or decisions,:2 rather than following strictly static program instructions. Machine learning is closely related to and often overlaps with computational statistics; a discipline that also specializes in prediction-making. It has strong ties to mathematical optimization, which deliver methods, theory and application domains to the field. Machine learning is employed in a range of computing tasks where designing and programming explicit, rule-based algorithms is infeasible. Example applications include spam filtering, optical character recognition (OCR), search engines and computer vision.
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