Machine Learning Examples: The 3 AI Powered Tools to Know

By Tibor Moes / Updated: June 2023

Machine Learning Examples: The 3 AI Powered Tools to Know

Machine Learning Examples

Imagine you’re teaching a toddler to recognize shapes. You show them circles, squares, and triangles. Over time, they learn to identify these shapes on their own. That’s much like machine learning – it’s about computers ‘learning’ from data to improve their performance, just as the toddler did with shapes.


Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence where computer programs learn from data, improve over time, and make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to do so.

Example 1: Netflix’s Recommendation System (2009). Netflix leverages machine learning for its sophisticated recommendation system. By analyzing a user’s viewing history, ratings, and even the viewing habits of similar users, it can predict and recommend what you’ll want to watch next, thereby enhancing the user experience.

Example 2: Google’s AlphaGo (2016). AlphaGo, developed by Google’s DeepMind, used machine learning to become the first computer program to defeat a human professional Go player, a world champion, and several highly ranked players. It learned by studying a large number of games and playing millions of games with itself.

Example 3: Medical Diagnosis and Treatment Plans (IBM Watson, 2017). IBM’s Watson for Oncology uses machine learning to assist doctors in diagnosing cancer and developing treatment plans. It analyzes a patient’s medical records against a vast array of data sources, including clinical guidelines and research material, thereby aiding in the decision-making process.

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Machine Learning Examples In-Depth

Netflix’s Recommendation System (2009)

Imagine coming home after a long day, flopping down on your couch, and picking up the remote. You open Netflix, and there it is, a line-up of movies and shows that seem like they were hand-picked just for you. No more endless scrolling. No more indecision. It feels like Netflix knows you! But how does it do that? The secret lies in machine learning.

Back in 2009, Netflix, your favorite streaming platform, decided to up its game. Its goal? To make the viewing experience as personalized and enjoyable as possible. And the tool it used to achieve this? A complex machine learning system.

You can think of this system as a virtual concierge, eager to learn your likes and dislikes, so it can serve you better. It pays attention to your viewing history, the ratings you provide, and even how long you spend watching a particular type of content.

But it doesn’t stop there. Netflix’s algorithm also learns from the behavior of other viewers. It looks for patterns among viewers who have similar tastes to yours. Think of it as having a group of friends with similar tastes. If a friend with similar movie preferences recommends a thriller, you’d probably enjoy that thriller too. That’s the principle Netflix’s system uses. If another user, with similar viewing habits, enjoyed a certain show, the chances are, you will too.

But the real magic of this machine learning system is in its ability to learn and adapt. With every show you watch, with every rating you give, and with every minute you spend on Netflix, it learns a little more about your preferences. It refines its understanding of your tastes, allowing it to give you more accurate recommendations. It’s as if your virtual concierge gets better at its job, the more you interact with it.

So, next time you see a recommended show pop up on your Netflix home screen, remember the hard-working machine learning algorithm that’s tirelessly learning about you to make your viewing experience better. The power of machine learning has turned Netflix into a platform that doesn’t just stream videos—it curates an experience that’s tailored specifically to you. And all that, thanks to the magic of machine learning!

Google’s AlphaGo (2016)

Picture yourself sitting down for a game of chess. You know the rules, you understand the strategy, and you’ve played enough games to feel confident. Now, imagine sitting down to a game of Go. While it may seem simple, with its black and white pebbles, Go is a game of such complexity that there are more potential board configurations than there are atoms in the universe!

Enter AlphaGo, a program developed by DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google. In 2016, it became the first AI to defeat a human professional Go player, not just once, but in a five-game tournament. This wasn’t just a win for AlphaGo; it was a landmark moment for the world of machine learning.

Imagine AlphaGo as a keen learner, eagerly studying the strategies of past games, soaking up all the knowledge it can. Initially, it was trained on a vast dataset of about 30 million moves from games played by human experts. Just as a student would learn from a textbook, AlphaGo learned the strategies and moves that human Go players tend to make.

But what really set AlphaGo apart was its ability to teach itself. After learning the basics from human gameplay, it played millions of games against itself. It was like a Go grandmaster in isolation, constantly playing, learning, and adapting its strategies. Each win, each loss, each draw provided data that helped AlphaGo understand the game better and improve its strategy.

This continual learning process helped AlphaGo predict its opponent’s moves and plan its own. With every game it played, it became a more formidable opponent, eventually reaching a level of play that no human could match.

The story of AlphaGo is not just about a machine beating a human at a board game. It’s about how machine learning can enable a computer program to master a task of immense complexity, learn from its experiences, and continuously improve. It’s a testament to the power and potential of machine learning, and it gives us a glimpse of what the future of AI might hold. It’s not about machines taking over; it’s about how they can help us solve problems and explore possibilities that were previously beyond our reach.

Medical Diagnosis and Treatment Plans (IBM Watson, 2017)

Imagine you’re a detective, trying to solve a particularly complex case. You have stacks of information to go through, and you’re racing against the clock. You need a system that can not only help you sort through this information quickly but also find the critical clues hidden within. Now, transpose this scenario to a doctor diagnosing cancer and formulating a treatment plan. Sounds like a daunting task, right? This is where IBM’s Watson for Oncology steps in.

Launched in 2017, IBM’s Watson for Oncology is a powerful tool that uses machine learning to assist doctors in diagnosing cancer and developing the most effective treatment plans. You can think of Watson as a super-smart research assistant, tirelessly poring over data and never forgetting a single detail.

When a patient’s medical records are fed into Watson, it does not just skim through the information. It dives deep, analyzing the patient’s information against a vast amount of data. This includes everything from medical literature, clinical guidelines, to research materials. Just like a detective piecing together evidence, Watson sifts through the available information, looking for crucial insights that can help in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

What’s remarkable about Watson is that it’s not a one-trick pony. It’s designed to continually learn and improve. With every patient it assists with, it refines its understanding, improving its ability to provide insights for the next patient. It’s like our detective getting better with every case they solve.

It’s essential to remember that Watson doesn’t replace doctors. Instead, it’s a tool that supports them, a silent partner that can handle the immense data processing, freeing up the doctor to focus on patient care.

The deployment of IBM’s Watson in oncology represents how machine learning can impact real-world situations positively. It’s about harnessing the power of machine learning to help us make better, more informed decisions. In the face of life-changing diseases like cancer, having a tool like Watson in our corner makes the fight a little less daunting.


From the personalized TV show recommendations on Netflix to mastering the ancient game of Go with AlphaGo, to assisting doctors in diagnosing and treating cancer with Watson, we have seen how machine learning can make a tangible difference in our daily lives. These examples are merely the tip of the iceberg of what is possible with machine learning. As we continue to refine these algorithms and explore new applications, the impact of machine learning will only grow, presenting us with new ways to solve problems and enhance our lives.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence where computer programs learn from data, improve over time, and make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to do so.


How Does Machine Learning Work?

Machine learning algorithms learn from data and improve their performance over time. They can be trained to recognize patterns, make predictions, and make decisions based on the data they are given. The more data they have, the better they can become at their tasks.

How is Machine Learning Used in Everyday Life?

Machine learning is used in a variety of ways in our everyday lives. It powers the recommendation systems of platforms like Netflix and Spotify, assists in medical diagnosis and treatment, improves internet search results, enables virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa to understand our commands, and much more. Its applications are expanding rapidly as technology continues to evolve.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most of the best antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.

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