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Definition: machine learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) software that modifies its own algorithms in order to become more intelligent and improve future results. Machine learning is used in numerous disciplines, including medical diagnosis, ad serving, spam filtering, sales forecasting and computer vision.

Unlike the static logic (if this - do that) in regular programs, machine learning continues to refine its logic over time and with enough samples so that the next operation is more effective than the last. Today's virtual assistants are often a combination of machine learning, which relies on neural networks, and "handcrafting," which provides predefined frameworks for responses. See neural network and deep learning.