Thursday, October 21, 2021

Building a Predictive App with Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is another no-code/low-code app builder that allows you to create machine learning apps. You can find an example of how to make use of Zoho's AI features by going to:

I decided to go through the steps to build a simple machine learning app to estimate the selling price of a home, given certain information about the home. Starting with a blank app design, I added fields for the estimated selling price, the age of the house, its size in square feet, the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms and the exterior (brick, wood paneling, or rock). Then I selected a “Prediction” field which started the Prediction Builder. The Builder asks you to select the fields for estimated price and for the different parameters or fields that would affect the price:

Next, you define your training data – whether you want to use all records or just specific records. In my case I went ahead and chose “All Records”:

Choosing “Specific records” will make the AI use only those records that satisfy the criteria for building the predictive model.

Next, the Builder displays your choices and prompts you to add a Prediction field:

To train the machine learning model to estimate a selling price you need to supply the model with data by importing appropriate records or entering records manually. It can take quite some time for the model to assimilate enough data to make predictions about an estimated selling price. In the meantime, you can check on how the prediction field's training is progressing by editing the input form, clicking on the prediction field and scrolling down the field properties to “Model Details”.

In my case, after entering 20 or so records, the description under “Model Details” reads “Model training is in progress”:

Once the model absorbs enough data, its Accuracy rating will be displayed under “Model Details”, along with a “Retrain” button which you can use to retrain the model if necessary.

Zoho Creator offers several other AI fields in addition to the Prediction field:

  • Keyword Extraction field – This type of AI field analyzes the text in a single or multi-line text field and extracts one or more “keywords”, which are stored as a comma-separated list. As an example, you could use keyword extraction to search through customer comments and find particular words such as “happy”, “great”, “unhappy”, “flimsy”, and so on. It could also be used to scan the text in a webpage for references to a subject you're researching, such as “dark matter” or “no-code programming”.

  • Sentiment Analysis field – A sentiment analysis field is used to scan a single or multi-line text field and determine if the tone of that text is positive, negative, or neutral.

  • OCR field – The Optical Character Recognition field allows you to extract the text from an image stored on Zoho Creator. It can recognize JPG, JPEG and PNG image formats and can be used to do things like extract the text from a picture of an invoice or a business card.

  • Object detection field – An object detection field can identify the type of objects in a Zoho Creator image field. The objects detected will be displayed as a comma-separated list (for example: “clock”, “table”, “chairs”). The OCR field is capable of detecting a variety of objects, ranging from cats and dogs to stop signs and traffic lights to laptops and microwaves. You can find a complete list at:

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