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‘A better understanding of Machine Learning can help save patients lives’

Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park student Aaranya Vinit plans to integrate Machine Learning with health care to predict ICU mortality and length of hospital stay



Aaranya, a student of class 9, has been self-studying Machine Learning for more than a year now. In an interview, the 14-year-old, who recently came up with two Machine Learning (ML) projects, explains how a better understanding of ML can be a boon for the fields of medicine and health care. 

How is Machine Learning different from conventional programming?

In conventional programming, programmes are manually created by providing input data. The computer then generates an output based on programming logic, whereas ML is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. The computers learn from patterns and experience just as a child does. The input data and output are fed to an algorithm to create a programme. For example, imagine a child being shown a picture of a cat and a picture of a dog by their parents and every time he/she misidentifies a dog for a cat or vice-versa, the child is corrected by parents. Gradually, the child will learn to distinguish a cat from a dog. ML enables the computers to learn from the historical data and formulate a solution which can be used to solve similar problems in future. ML has given us practical speech recognition, self-driving cars and effective web search, among other innovations.

How did you get interested in Machine Learning?

My Mama ji (maternal uncle) is a software engineer with Google India. He encouraged me to learn ML. I also love playing Civilization VI, a video game which actively uses ML. These two factors combined made me interested in ML. If you are a self-learner, freeCodeCamp is a great place to start learning coding. It’s an interactive learning web platform that gives clear and useful lessons on coding. There are numerous other platforms on the internet. You don’t need to spend a penny to learn programming, what’s required is dedication. You can learn a lot on the Internet.

Tell us about your Machine Learning projects.

I have created two machine learning projects using Python that can help beginners to kick-start their Machine Learning journey. One of these predicts students’ grades and the other predicts used-car prices. In the former, by using ML algorithms, you can predict how well the students are going to perform so that we can help the students whose scores are predicted low. In the latter, the focus was on developing machine learning models that can accurately predict the price of a used car based on its features. Any budding programmer with a decent knowledge of Python can simply copy the links of my projects on any web browser to get a first-hand experience of the concepts.

Where did you source the data for your projects?

There are many websites where you can source such data. I sourced it from Kaggle, an online platform which provided a huge repository of community published data and code.

What are your future plans?

I want to apply machine learning techniques in a health care setting. ML has a huge potential in health care. My mother is a senior consultant in the department of critical care, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi and my father is a radiologist in the same hospital. My parents have enlightened me on the huge potential of machine learning in saving lives. ML is already used in the study of genomics, a field of biology focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes. A genome is an organism’s complete set of DNA. ML can also be used to analyse data stored in electronic medical records to predict ICU mortality and length of stay. It can also be used to predict future medical complications. Its potential is limitless. 

First Project – (This is a project that predicts the marks of the student)

Second Project – (This is a project that predicts the condition of the car using machine learning)

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]

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