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Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence describing the study of computer programs that leverage algorithms and statistical models to improve automation without explicit programming. This is used to improve the capabilities of a machine, software, or program by allowing it to essentially program itself using data.
Machine learning can be broken down into three major components: a decision process, an error function and model optimization. The decision process uses an algorithm to make predictions or classifications. The error function evaluates the efficacy of the prediction. Finally, the model optimization process iterates the data and outcome, adjusting different weights until it fits into a certain degree of accuracy.