Machine Learning: The Bigger Picture, Part I

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In the past few decades, computer systems have achieved a whole lot. They have managed to organize and catalog the information produced by our civilization as a whole. They have relieved us from stringent cognitive tasks and increased our productivity significantly. One could say that where the industrial revolution automated labor, the digital revolution has automated cognitive labor. This statement isn’t entirely correct however, if it was we would all be without a job. So what can humans do that machines can’t?

The classic computer system can be seen as a big information switching network that directs information to where it needs to go. A good example of such a system is SAGE, one of the very first and largest computers ever built. The SAGE computer system was built during the cold war for the sole task of integrating all information from radar systems across the United States for defense purposes. 

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