Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence: Learn the Difference

Is There a Difference Between Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence?

The specific definition of various technology jargon can often be up for debate. What exactly something means may vary depending on who you ask and when you ask them. Artificial intelligence is one of those things that is constantly evolving, and so, some other phrases, such as machine learning tend to get lumped in with it. But, there is a difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning – though, the two are intimately related.

A Closer Look at Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

If you have done any reading about companies that utilize artificial intelligence, the reading probably mentioned using some combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Artificial intelligence refers to a machine that is capable of performing a task or action that is characteristic of human intelligence. Read this article for a deeper definition of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is not new, it has been around in some conceptualized form for centuries. The actualization of some conceptual artificial intelligence has always been the challenge. But, machine learning is what makes artificial intelligence possible. Machine learning systems gather, categorize, and analyze data to ‘learn’ and then feeds the machine information so that it can make ‘intelligent’ decisions. The two work together, harmoniously.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Work Together

The easiest way to understand how the systems work together, yet remain separate things, is to think of it like a human body. A person learns how to form words and speak by gathering information, the brain then analyzes it, and tells your body how to carry out the action of speaking. The same is true of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Collaborate to Advance Technology

One key component not yet discussed is neural networks. Neural networks play an important role and help define the difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is somewhat more static whereas machine learning is dynamic. Neural networks are constantly feeding the machine more information and the machine is able to modify itself as it gathers more data. With machine learning, the machine utilizes all of its data and works with probability to determine the best course of action while modifying as it goes to actually get ‘smarter.’

The ability to intelligently learn and get smarter is no longer something that is primarily ‘human.’ We are in the era of machine learning and artificial intelligence. But, we need to be careful about how we interchangeably use terms that actually have different meanings. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are both important and work together to advance capabilities in the technology industry.