5 questions for a top machine learning expert

Carlos Guestrin has always been a big dreamer. As a kid he was a sci-fi fan and longed to build robots. Today, as a professor at the University of Washington he’s one of the country’s leading thinkers in machine learning technology.

Carlos Guestrin

Carlos Guestrin

He’s still holding out hope for building autonomous robots, but his more immediate aspiration is to bring machine learning technology to the masses. Companies such as Amazon and Netflix use machine learning software to enable personalized recommendations to customers, banks use it to detect fraud and real estate sites like Zillow use it to size up a neighborhood.

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We sat down with Guestrin, who is also CEO of machine learning company Dato, to learn how this technology works, what the current and emerging use cases are and why regular businesses should pay attention to it.