Machine Learning

7 Common Challenges In Adopting Machine Learning For Business

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Technology has provided endless channels for people and businesses to explore and utilize opportunities that would’ve been impossible before. A concept such as artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining traction in businesses as people explore the possibilities of making technology work for them to improve efficiency and output. Under AI, another concept, machine learning (ML), has also been adopted by many businesses.

Machine learning is the study of algorithms that helps software and application to become better and more accurate by using data. The applications learn through the experience of interacting with large chunks of data over time. This concept appears to be the real deal; however, several challenges are facing its adoption. 

Machine learning is like a pool of endless opportunities, and each development offers a chance to make it better. The novelty and lack of a specific end product have caused several challenges, especially in small businesses.

Challenges Facing Machine Learning Adoption

Just like other fields of technology, machine learning is also faced with several challenges. These challenges range from issues with data security to the costs of implementation. Even though there are tools, such as Cnvrg’s guide and many others available, which may help with the visualization of ML models, the challenges haven’t been entirely eliminated. 

Here are some common challenges in adopting ML for businesses: 

1. Unavailability Of Data 

Machine learning is dependent on data to train the algorithm and help it improve over time. Therefore, data availability is a crucial component of machine learning as it helps companies train the models. But, the main challenge is always in finding the correct and the right amount of data. Vast chunks of data will be needed for the machine to draw a particular behavior, and, therefore, a few hundred items may not be enough.

Moreover, machine learning needs structured data to help with modeling the algorithm you’ll use in the basic form. This is important because, in the later stages, more unstructured data will be used, and, therefore, your algorithm should’ve been trained to suit your desire. As a result, it’s hard for businesses to adopt machine learning without enough data as there’ll be no significant result. 

2. Challenges In Data Security 

Data security is an important component in technology because breaches, threats, or mix-up of data can fault the whole process. In machine learning, there could be sensitive and insensitive data. Each of them has to be fed into the algorithm differently to help in the implementation.

For confidential data, a more superior decision-maker is needed before it’s used in machine learning; therefore, it needs to be encrypted and stored separately. If this isn’t done, then ML will be affected, and the outcome will be inaccurate. This is because machine learning can’t differentiate the two sets of data. Having said that, businesses with large chunks of sensitive data may be skeptical about adopting it. 

3. Time-Consuming Implementation

Machine learning is a relatively new technology, and with data being fed into the algorithm, it keeps learning. Therefore, it’s hard to get the end product in ML as the process is continuous. This leads to a lot of time to implement machine learning algorithms to get the desired model. It could take a year or more for complex ML, while simple algorithms could take months to implement. 

As a result of this time-consuming deployment, ML isn’t the go-to option if you want instant results in your business. You may not fully figure out the potential it has to your business if you settle with the first trial version, and, so, there’s no shortcut to the long route or trial and testing. This has discouraged many businesses from adopting it.

4. Lack Of Skilled Staff

Many people haven’t boarded the career journey of machine learning, being that it’s a new concept. Even the few developers who might’ve learned about ML may still not have the in-depth skills to create and work with complex algorithms. Therefore, it may be a challenge for you to realize your requirements fully if your business faces such problems. 

Businesses have tried to bypass this challenge by collaborating with other established businesses, or outsourcing to development agencies and freelancers. This has helped businesses, but, still, the limited number of experts is a major problem. 

5. Lack Of Proper Infrastructure 

Companies that lack proper infrastructure for extensive data modeling and visualization will always have a problem with adopting ML. The suitable infrastructure will help the developers conduct tests between different algorithms and data models to help come up with the desired and viable model

However, if there’s no infrastructure, the company will be forced to settle for a non-tested version or miss out on it completely. So, for startups and small enterprises that may not have the financial muscles to invest in the right data tools to help with ML, it becomes a major challenge for them to adopt it. 

6. Affordability 

Adopting machine learning in your organization will mean having a team of expert data scientists and developers, and getting the proper infrastructure to implement the ideas and bring them into realization. If a business is well-established, that shouldn’t be a problem; however, small businesses can’t afford the luxury of entirely going into machine learning. This, therefore, slows down its adoption into businesses.

7. Rigid Business Models 

Adopting machine learning in a business means the business should accept necessary changes in the algorithms and the model. Each version of machine learning always leaves room for corrections and improvements, and, so, a business should be flexible enough to allow these changes. 

However, in cases wherein the business model is too rigid to accept these changes, then the ML’s potential will be limited to the current state, and it’ll take years before changes are made. Therefore, businesses based on rigid models are ML-unfriendly, hence, affecting its adoption. 

Conclusion 

New technology always presents new opportunities to businesses. Understanding the concept of machine learning will help processes run smoothly and more accurately. However, factors such as costs, lack of expert knowledge, and rigid business models have formed a significant barrier to the adoption of ML. 

The benefits of machine learning are far better than the challenges facing its adoption. Businesses can start with simpler versions of ML to test the viability before going scaling up. In the end, no challenge is big enough to be defeated. 

Also Read: 10 of the Most Compelling and Best Space Documentaries of the Decade

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