I want to get into machine learning.

However, the field currently seems to prefer Python.

While I would very much like to learn a new language, I have to learn so much stuff for work and my other hobbies, that I really prefer to use

Java (which I *kinda* know...).

From what I see, there's nothing particularly special about python for ML, only that there are lots of libraries and worked-out examples...

I bet Java might even do better performance!

Question is, is it feasible for me to start a small ML project with Java or it's a dead-end road?

In particular, my half-study-half-useful project is about an approximation pathfinder for mental

unit conversion ("APMUC").

For example, KG to Lbs:

KG x 2 + 10% (I found this myself, with pen and paper)

This is two (three actually) steps of simple mental arithmetic and yields a pretty useful result (-0.21% accuracy)

Rules:

1. Approximation should not yield results over a certain accuracy

2. Number of steps in the "found" path may not exceed the required number of steps

3. Only addition, subtraction, multiplication and division allowed (% also allowed)

4. Multiplication only by "easy" factors: 2, 3, 4, 5, 10

5. Division only by "easy divisors": 2, 10

6. Only "easy" percentages like: 1%, 10%...

Input:

Expected accuracy in absolute %

Exact factor (2.20462, in the above example)

Number of steps (should be 1-4, if we want to keep things memorable)

Process:

The ML will try to mix and match the rules to find any paths that cover the accuracy and step-number requriements

Output: a table of formulas (like: "<startingNumber> X 2 + 10%-of<startingNumber>"), with the "stepCount" and "accuracy" for each, for the user to pick the best approximation and use in daily life

I know there are various ML approaches to solving this but I guess anything that works will be fine.

Do you reckon I am likely to find the supporting libraries in Java or "the AI/ML train" has left the "java station"?

(yes, I know I can probably brute force this without ML, but I want to use this project to access ML knowledge a little bit, please!)