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Learning Machines 101
By Richard M. Golden, Ph.D., M.S.E.E., B.S.E.E.
About this podcast
Smart machines based upon the principles of artificial intelligence and machine learning are now prevalent in our everyday life. For example, artificially intelligent systems recognize our voices, sort our pictures, make purchasing suggestions, and can automatically fly planes and drive cars. In this podcast series, we examine such questions such as: How do these devices work? Where do they come from? And how can we make them even smarter and more human-like? These are the questions that will be addressed in this podcast series!
Episodes (Total: 66)
Aug. 21, 2017 · 00:25:40
In this episode we discuss how to learn to solve constraint satisfaction inference problems. The goal of the inference process is to infer the most probable values for unobservable variables. These constraints, however, can be learned from experience. Specifically, the important machine learning method for handling unobservable components of the data using Expectation Maximization is introduced. Check it out at:  
July 17, 2017 · 00:34:00
In this episode of Learning Machines 101 ( we discuss how to solve constraint satisfaction inference problems where knowledge is represented as a large unordered collection of complicated probabilistic constraints among a collection of variables. The goal of the inference process is to infer the most probable values of the unobservable variables given the observable variables. Specifically, Monte Carlo Markov Chain ( MCMC ) methods are discussed.
June 19, 2017 · 00:30:00
In this episode rerun we introduce the concept of gradient descent which is the fundamental principle underlying learning in the majority of deep learning and neural network learning algorithms. Check out the website: to obtain a transcript of this episode!
May 15, 2017 · 00:28:04
In this rerun of episode 24 we explore the concept of evolutionary learning machines. That is, learning machines that reproduce themselves in the hopes of evolving into more intelligent and smarter learning machines. This leads us to the topic of stochastic model search and evaluation. Check out the blog with additional technical references at: 
April 20, 2017 · 00:22:04
This 63rd episode of Learning Machines 101 discusses how to build reinforcement learning machines which become smarter with experience but do not use this acquired knowledge to modify their actions and behaviors. This episode explains how to build reinforcement learning machines whose behavior evolves as the learning machines become increasingly smarter. The essential idea for the construction of such reinforcement learning machines is based upon first developing a supervised learning machine. The supervised learning machine then “guesses” the desired response and updates its parameters using its guess for the desired response! Although the reasoning seems circular, this approach in fact is a variation of the important widely used machine learning method of Expectation-Maximization. Some applications to learning to play video games, control walking robots, and developing optimal trading strategies for the stock market are briefly mentioned as well. Check us out at:   
March 19, 2017 · 00:31:05
This 62nd episode of Learning Machines 101 (  discusses how to design reinforcement learning machines using your knowledge of how to build supervised learning machines! Specifically, we focus on Value Function Reinforcement Learning Machines which estimate the unobservable total penalty associated with an episode when only the beginning of the episode is observable. This estimated Value Function can then be used by the learning machine to select a particular action in a given situation to minimize the total future penalties that will be received. Applications include: building your own robot, building your own automatic aircraft lander, building your own automated stock market trading system, and building your own self-driving car!!
Feb. 23, 2017 · 00:29:15
This is the third of a short subsequence of podcasts providing a summary of events associated with Dr. Golden’s recent visit to the 2015 Neural Information Processing Systems Conference. This is one of the top conferences in the field of Machine Learning. This episode reviews and discusses topics associated with the Introduction to Reinforcement Learning with Function Approximation Tutorial presented by Professor Richard Sutton on the first day of the conference. This episode is a RERUN of an episode originally presented in January 2016 and lays the groundwork for future episodes on the topic of reinforcement learning! Check out:  for more info!!
Jan. 23, 2017 · 00:29:32
This 60th episode of Learning Machines 101 discusses how one can use novelty detection or anomaly detection machine learning algorithms to monitor the performance of other machine learning algorithms deployed in real world environments. The episode is based upon a review of a talk by Chief Data Scientist Ira Cohen of Anodot presented at the 2016 Berlin Buzzwords Data Science Conference. Check out: to hear the podcast or read a transcription of the podcast!
Dec. 21, 2016 · 00:29:56
I discuss the concept of a “neural network” by providing some examples of recent successes in neural network machine learning algorithms and providing a historical perspective on the evolution of the neural network concept from its biological origins. For more details visit us at:  
Nov. 23, 2016 · 00:19:38
In this 58th episode of Learning Machines 101, I’ll be discussing an important new scientific breakthrough published just last week for the first time in the journal Econometrics  in the special issue on model misspecification titled “Generalized Information Matrix Tests for Detecting Model Misspecification”. The article provides a unified theoretical framework for the development of a wide range of methods for determining if a learning machine is capable of learning its statistical environment. The article is co-authored by myself, Steven Henley, Halbert White, and Michael Kashner. It is an open-access article so the complete article can be downloaded for free! The download link can be found in the show notes of this episode at: . In 30 years  everyone will be using these methods so you might as well start using them now!
Oct. 18, 2016 · 00:19:54
In this 57th episode, we explain how to use unsupervised machine learning algorithms to catch internet criminals who try to steal your money electronically!  Check it out at:  
Sept. 20, 2016 · 00:27:59
In this NEW episode we discuss Latent Semantic Indexing type machine learning algorithms which have a PROBABILISTIC  interpretation. We explain why such a probabilistic interpretation is important and discuss how such algorithms can be used in the design of document retrieval systems, search engines, and recommender systems. Check us out at: and follow us on twitter at: @lm101talk  
Aug. 16, 2016 · 00:35:06
In this rerun of Episode 10, we discuss fundamental principles of learning in statistical environments including the design of learning machines that can use prior knowledge to facilitate and guide the learning of statistical regularities. In particular, the episode introduces fundamental machine learning concepts such as: probability models, model misspecification, maximum likelihood estimation, and MAP estimation. Check us out at:  
July 25, 2016 · 00:29:35
Welcome to the 54th Episode of Learning Machines 101 titled "How to Build a Search Engine, Automatically Grade Essays, and Identify Synonyms using Latent Semantic Analysis" (rerun of Episode 40). The principles in this episode are also applicable to the problem of "Market Basket Analysis"  and the design of Recommender Systems. Check it out at: and follow us on twitter: @lm101talk
July 11, 2016 · 00:26:50
In this 53rd episode of Learning Machines 101, we introduce the concept of a Swarm Intelligence with respect to Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithms. The essential idea of “Swarm Intelligence” is that you have a group of individual entities which behave in a coordinated manner yet there is no master control center providing directions to all of the individuals in the group. The global group behavior is an “emergent property” of local interactions among individuals in the group! We will analyze the concept of swarm intelligence as a Markov Random Field, discuss how it can be harnessed to enhance the performance of machine learning algorithms, and comment upon relevant mathematics for analyzing and designing “swarm intelligences” so they behave in an appropriate manner by viewing the Swarm as a nonlinear optimization algorithm. For more information check out:  and also check us out on twitter (@lm101talk).
June 13, 2016 · 00:28:57
Today, we discuss a simple yet powerful idea which began popular in the machine learning literature in the 1990s which is called “The Kernel Trick”. The basic idea of the “Kernel Trick” is that you specify similarity relationships among input patterns rather than a recoding transformation to solve a nonlinear problem with a linear learning machine. It's a great magic trick...check it out at: where you can obtain transcripts of this episode and download free machine learning software! Also check out the "Statistical Machine Learning Forum" on Linked In and follow us on Twitter using the twitter handle: @lm101talk  
May 24, 2016 · 00:29:04
This particular podcast is a RERUN of Episode 20 and describes step by step how to download free software which can be used to make predictions using a feedforward artificial neural network whose hidden units are radial basis functions. This is essentially a nonlinear regression modeling problem. We show the performance of this nonlinear learning machine is substantially better on test data set than the linear learning machine software presented in Episode 13. Basically performance for the linear learning machine was about 13% because the data set was specifically designed to be unlearnable by a linear learning machine, while the performance for the nonlinear machine learning software in this episode is about 70%. Again, I'm a little disappointed that only a few people have downloaded the software and tried things out. You can download windows executable, mac executable, or the MATLAB source code. It's important to actually experiment with real machine learning software if you want to learn about machine learning!  Check out: to obtain transcripts of this podcast and download free machine learning software! Or tweet us at: @lm101talk    
May 4, 2016 · 00:30:32
In this episode we will explain how to download and use free machine learning software from the website: This podcast is concerned with the very practical issues associated with downloading and installing machine learning software on your computer. If you follow these instructions, by the end of this episode you will have installed one of the simplest (yet most widely used) machine learning algorithms on your computer. You can then use the software to make virtually any kind of prediction you like. Also follow us on twitter at: lm101talk  
April 22, 2016 · 00:34:40
In this episode we continue the discussion of learning when the actions of the learning machine can alter the characteristics of the learning machine’s statistical environment. We describe how to download free lunar lander software so you can experiment with an autopilot for a lunar lander module that learns from its experiences and describe the results of some simulation studies. To learn more, visit: to download the free lunar lander software which illustrates principles of temporal reinforcement learning and nonlinear control theory. You will also have the opportunity to download free software which illustrates how a simple deep learning neural network with one layer of radial basis functions works and a simple linear regression model learning machine. Check it out!!!
March 29, 2016 · 00:31:27
In this episode we consider the problem of learning when the actions of the learning machine can alter the characteristics of the learning machine’s statistical environment. We illustrate the solution to this problem by designing an autopilot for a lunar lander module that learns from its experiences. For more information, check out: and visit us a twitter: @lm101talk   #machinelearning  #statistics #artificialintelligence
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