Upcoming Machine Learning Trends to Watch Out in 2021

Are you interested in artificial intelligence? Whether you’re an expert with years of experience in the field or just a beginner writing your first few lines of Python, there’s one fundamental truth you’ll have to grapple with at some point in your career. In the field of machine learning, trends change every single day. Advancements in machine learning are fast-paced, frenetic, and exciting, but that same excitement can cause some to feel overwhelmed. It helps to break them down into comprehensible bits.

With that in mind, here are some of the most compelling trends to watch as you move into the new year.

Deepfakes and Video Manipulation

If you’ve been browsing the internet much recently, you may have already heard of deep fakes. In a deep fake, astonishingly life-like replications of real people are realized by manipulation from neural networks. With an advanced predictive architecture based on deep learning, both audio and video images can be altered and published online with minimal effort.

These convincing depictions fool the majority of viewers. They have even been used to depict major actresses and actors after their deaths. In the coming years, likely, this technology will only spread both on and off the internet. There are some substantial dangers to this, too. The House Intelligence Committee even believes they might pose a significant threat to election integrity.

GPT-3 and Natural Language Processing (NLP)

GPT-3 is an advanced machine learning API available on request to independent agencies and individuals around the world. The way it works is simple: given a string of text, the AI will try to complete it. It builds off of the more widely-available GPT-2 with a far more comprehensive training module.

GPT-3 has been used to write news articles, essays, fiction, code, and even poetry. Most of what it produces still doesn’t match the output of a human, but it’s getting closer and closer. Avid watchers of the industry are increasingly wondering what GPT-4 will bring. 2021 might just be the year they get an answer.

Self-Driving Cars

With hundreds of engineers spread across companies like Tesla and Google working on perfecting the self-driving car, there’s no doubt that this field of machine learning will grow in 2021. Things have already come a long way. The Tesla Model S, for example, already has a hefty suite of self-driving features. On freeways, there’s virtually no human input required. Ten years ago, that would’ve seemed like science fiction.

Completely self-driving cars might still be in the realm of science fiction but expect more and more of the busywork of driving to get automated in luxury car design. Over the coming decades, these will probably filter down to common consumer cars as well.

Facial Recognition

Even just a year ago, the idea of using facial recognition on a large scale seemed like a fairy tale. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has changed everything. Increasingly, major companies and organizations are proposing making use of deep learning facial recognition technology to detect and check for mask compliance.

This technology would see wide use in some of the places where mask use is most critical: hospitals, schools, and offices. In many of these locations, low-level employees are charged with standing at doors and checking for masks or denying entry, usually backed up by security. The amount of money saved by implementing facial recognition isn’t lost on administrators and owners.

Expect to see big changes like this, shaped by the pandemic, in 2021 and years to come.

Increasing Automation

Workers are increasingly staying home. Service sector jobs are taking a nose-dive. With social distancing limitations and varying state regulations to work around, employers are looking for ways to fill in the gap. Expect mechanized workers like the Moley Kitchen to grow more in-demand in coming years.

Workflow management and optimization, as well, is increasingly the realm of AI rather than administrators.

Looking Forward

Looking ahead, you can expect machine learning to continue to change and evolve in substantial and surprising ways, probably at a breakneck pace hitherto unheard of in the industry. Whether it’s mask protocols, statewide shutdowns, or social distancing, the heavy strain placed on broader society by the pandemic is going to require radical and bold ideas.

Engineers and entrepreneurs in the field of AI are increasingly well-situated to provide them.

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