In an essay published in 1962, an IBM researcher called Arthur Samuel proposed a way to have computers ‘learn’, a different process from how we normally write code to instruct computers:

“Suppose we arrange for some automatic means of testing the effectiveness of any current weight assignment in terms of actual performance and provide a mechanism for altering the weight assignment so as to maximize the performance. We need not go into the details of such a procedure to see that it could be made entirely automatic and to see that a machine so programmed would “learn” from its experience.”

A systematic approach

As data products get more and more complex we sometimes lose sight of the real problem we are trying to solve. The Drivetrain Approach aims to better couple the data science to the real business needs/real world problem and to use data not just to generate more data but to use data to produce actionable outcomes. Jeremy Howard and his colleagues first described this approach in 2012. Figure 1 below shows the four steps of the Drivetrain Approach.

Figure 1. Source:

The first key idea is that we must first define the objective before we move on to step 2 (identify levers), step…

Cover image credits: Rod Long /

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the modeling and simulation of the way humans think and act. Ancient civilisations in Greece, Egypt and China have come up with the idea of mechanical men and automation. Philosophers as far back as Aristotle have tried to come up with different methods to describe human thought and knowledge. AI draws on the research and development from various disciplines including philosophy, mathematics, economics, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics and computer engineering. Through simulating the way humans think and act, we can use machines to help us solve many of the problems humans face.

The birth of artificial intelligence

The Turing Test, proposed by…

Kelly Pang

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store