— From The Master Algorithm – How the Quest for the ultimate learning machine will remake our world by Pedro Domingos P. 6
Every algorithm has an input and an output: the data goes into the computer, the algorithm does what it will with it, and out comes the result. Machine learning turns this around: in goes the data and the desired result and out comes the algorithm that turns one into the other. Learning algorithms — also known as learners — are algorithms that make other algorithms. With machine learning, computers write their own programs, so we don’t have to.
Computers write their own programs. Now that’s a powerful idea, maybe even a little scary. If computers start to program themselves, how will we control them? Turns out we can control them quite well, as we’ll see.”