Machine Learning for Mobile App Developers

Introduction

Have you ever noticed that the post on Instagram, Facebook or on similar channels shows you the the feeds more frequent to which you have interact the most? Let it be from the pages you like or channels you visit on YouTube.

It’s the application of Machine Learning!

So, what is  Machine Learning? Well, it is that domain of AI (Artificial Intelligence) that provides the ability to the computer to learn from the past experiences on it’s own and improve the experience without any human intervention.

In this the computer learns from examples, direct experiences, data available and observations. It analyses the patterns, makes fantastic decisions and prepares itself for taking better decisions for future.

 

But why machine learning is going to be the next big thing?

If you are building an app that deals with posts or data coming from different sources such as posts from the pages or users, news from different media channels, listing of items on your e-commerce platform or visibility of medias (as in Instagram, Saavn and YouTube app), everything is now in great need of machine learning to improve the user experience as much as possible. After all it’s the user’s experience that improves the user retention on your app.

If your e-commerce platform is build on the principles of machine learning then it can drive more customers than a platform build without it because if a customer’s gender is female and she is searching for a top from Zara and tapped on one of them colored as black then the system will automatically analyse and will show the branded quality top wear made for ladies mostly of black color as the lady who is browsing through the app scrolls down for more results.

Not only this, if you are building a social app or an which has feeds from different channels then it is show you the contents based on how you interact with the app. For example, the Saavn app builds playlist for me according the genre of the musics I have recently played.

The same happens with the Flipkart app, it shows me the items to buy based on the items I have recently browsed.

Let it be any domain, the machine learning is surely the next big thing.

 

I am now a bit confused,  can you tell me the difference between the Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the broader concept where computers carry out tasks in a smartest manner using their own intelligence.

And,

Machine Learning is an application of AI that provides the ability to the computer to learn from the past experiences and make better decisions to improve the user experience.

So, let me explain you this by a short story.

There was a colony of ants who use to follow a path – Left, straight, right and then straight because they learned by their past experiences taking in mind that if they follow some other path then some poison might kill them. This is machine learning.

But one fine day someone displaces the poison and keeps it in the regular path of ants. What will happen if they follow the concept from their past experiences? They will die! But to think in the smartest manner using their own intelligence and change the path according to the presence of poison in the path is called Artificial Intelligence.

Okay, but it is more of a backend thing. Why and how a mobile developers can implement machine learning in their mobile applications?

No, it’s not the complete backend thing. The backend developers can actually provide you the data but how to play with it, it depends on you. Not only this, what will you do if your app is offline? For example, the Google’s assistant can make a phone call even when there is no internet connectivity in your mobile phone or can set an alarm for you even when there is no SIM card in your mobile handset. Not only this, have you noticed your mobile phone’s camera detecting your face while taking the photo? This is the application of machine learning in mobile application.

You can apply machine learning to your app using Firebase ML Kit which was launched by Google in I/O 2018. Firebase ML Kit is the best framework available according to me today. It is available for both Android and iOS platforms with minimal coding. It is for experienced machine learning developers and well as for freshers. And here lies its beauty.

Currently it is in BETA stage and provides supports for common use cases such as barcode detection, text detection, face detection, landmark detection and labelling of images. But you can deploy your own models in Firebase using TensorFLow Lite and make your app work on your model. Not only this, you can even make use of Google Cloud Vision API and Neural Network API inside a single SDK of Firebase ML Kit. It’s API works on both on-device and on cloud.

 

Conclusion

Machine learning is surely the new era of computer programming and how you build an app. Today anyone can develop an app but how to make it work, will prove to be the difference in user retention on your mobile app and so it is the next big thing for the mobile app developers.

 

Stay tuned to this blog to check out the actual codes and implementation of Machine Learning (ML) in Android Applications.