Machine learning is continually finding new applications. Those seeking to understand more about Earth have deployed armies of sensors listening for signs of slips, rumbles, exhales, and other disturbances emanating from the planet’s inner core. Measuring the motion of the ground creates a massive amount of data. The challenge is to understand it. This interesting topic came to us from Stanford University in their article, “What can machine learning tell us about the solid Earth?

The more straightforward applications of machine learning in Earth science automate repetitive tasks. This type of machine learning is similar to applications in other fields that might train an algorithm to detect cancer in medical images based on a set of examples labeled by a physician. More advanced algorithms unlocking new discoveries in Earth science and beyond can begin to recognize patterns without working from known examples.

Machine learning is far from a perfect tool, but it is evolving at a fairly serious pace. The insights we get today will be quickly exceeded in the near future.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.