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What is Machine Unlearning?

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Machine unlearning is an artificial intelligence or algorithm that is able to drop data in a useful way. Humans have an efficient ability to unlearn information. For example, a memory that you often recall is far less likely to be forgotten than a memory you don't use. Machines aren't like this. They consume data efficiently and can use it to construct models of things. They aren't typically good at dropping things from the model. The following are use cases for machine unlearning.

Right to be Forgotten

A teenager does something they aren't proud of at a party and it gets posted all over social media. The person would like the item to eventually be forgotten as opposed to being available forever to their children, grandchildren and descendants. Governments or organizations that would like to respect this individual's wishes need a way to drop data that may have been propagated widely through diverse systems.

Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence often looks to human cognition for ways to improve machine learning algorithms. Forgetting useless information is a pervasive and potentially useful human cognitive ability.


There is always a cost to govern, manage, store and process data. An organization that can achieve the same results with less data is more efficient.
Overview: Machine Unlearning
An artificial intelligence or algorithm that is able to drop data in a useful way.
Related Concepts

Artificial Intelligence

This is the complete list of articles we have written about artificial intelligence.
Affective Computing
Artificial Knowledge
Artificial Stupidity
Chinese Room
Decision Trees
Deep Learning
Deep Magic
Ensemble Learning
Event Processing
Forward Chaining
Fuzzy Logic
IT Biases
IT Examples
Machine Biases
Machine Unlearning
Predictive Analytics
Sentiment Analysis
Swarm Intelligence
Turing Test
More ...
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