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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: What’s the Difference?

Blogs and insights

The terms Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are often used interchangeably. However, machine learning is actually an element of the broader category of AI. Though quite different, the perception that artificial intelligence and machine learning are the same thing often leads to confusion.

This article provides an overview of artificial intelligence and machine learning with an aim to help people understand the concepts better, discover the benefits across industries, and learn about the differences and connections between the two.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the ability of a computer system or machine to imitate human intelligence and perform human-like tasks. AI has an evolving definition that is ever-changing. As new innovative technologies are built to mimic humans better, the capabilities and limitations of AI are revisited. An example of new technology is machine learning. AI-enabled programs and systems can analyse and contextualise data to provide results, or automatically activate actions without human assistance.

“AI is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” – John McCarthy

The ultimate goal of AI is to create a smart computer system that thinks and behaves like humans in order to solve complex problems. AI requires machine learning to enable a machine to automatically learn from historic data without programming explicitly.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning refers to the technologies and algorithms that enable systems to accurately establish patterns, make decisions, and enhance themselves through past data analysation and experience. Machine learning is subcategory of AI and a pathway to achieve it. It uses algorithms to automatically establish data insights, recognise patterns, and apply that learning to provide accurate outcomes and therefore better decisions.

Machine learning is an application of AI based around the idea that we should be able to just give machines access to data and they should be able to learn for themselves. Machine learning is being used in various familiar places such as for Google search algorithms, email spam filters, Facebook Auto friend tagging suggestions, and much more.

What is the difference between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

Most commonly, people tend to use the terms artificial intelligence and machine learning as synonyms. However, even though machine learning is a subset of AI, the two are actually very different concepts with different goals.

The goal of AI is to create a smart computer system like humans to carry out complex tasks and solve intricate problems. The goal of machine learning is to allow systems to utilise past data to deliver accurate outputs. AI is all about using technologies to maximise the chances of success when solving tasks. Whereas machine learning is concerned with learning from past data, discovering patterns, and making predictions. Where artificial intelligence is the overall framework and appearance of a machine being smart, machine learning is an element of the framework that involves taking in data and learning from experience to improve the capabilities of AI.

So, this means that all machine learning is AI, but not all AI is machine learning.

The relationship between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

When you’re examining the differences between artificial intelligence and machine learning, it’s useful to understand how they also interact and work together. Essentially, an ‘intelligent’ computer uses AI to think and behave like a human and execute tasks on its own. Machine learning is how the computer system establishes and develops its intelligence. Without each other the two technologies wouldn’t achieve their goals.

How AI and machine learning work together:

  • An AI system is constructed using machine learning and other techniques.
  • Machine learning models are built by analysing data patterns.
  • Based on the data patterns, data scientists can optimise the machine learning models.
  • This process is then repeated and refined until the models accuracy is high enough for the set tasks.

How industries are leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

91% of leading businesses have ongoing investments in AI, while 48% of businesses use machine learning to optimise big data effectively.

Businesses across all industries are building intelligent applications and systems utilising the relationship between AI and machine learning. By harnessing the capabilities of computer intelligence, companies across the world are transforming processes and products, and benefitting from increased operational efficiency, valuable data insights, and much more.

Here are just a few ways in which AI and machine learning are helping businesses harness digital transformation:

Customer Service – Chatbots and cognitive search capabilities have enabled companies to assess customer intent, answer customer questions, and deliver virtual support and assistance.

Healthcare – Organisations are taking advantage of AI and machine learning in applications such as image processing for better cancer detection, and to manage and predict the use and tolerance of chemotherapy drugs to optimise medicine regimens.

Retail – Retailers are harnessing the power of AI and machine learning to optimise their stock processes, form recommendation engines, and improve the user experience with visual search capabilities.

Finance – AI and machine learning are powerful tools in banking and financial contexts. The technology is used for purposes such as predicting risk, detecting fraud, and delivering more informed financial advice.

Cybersecurity – In the cybersecurity space, AI and machine learning are valuable tools for helping organisations safeguard their business data, and protect the information of their customers by detecting risks and anomalies.

Artificial intelligence

What are the benefits of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

With revolutionary possibilities and capabilities emerging all the time. The connection between artificial intelligence and machine learning offers a multitude of benefits to businesses in almost every industry.

61% of employees say AI helps to improve their work productivity.

By incorporating AI and machine learning into business systems and into strategic plans, many company leaders can better understand their processes and act on data-driven insights with speed and efficiency.

These are just a few of the top benefits that businesses have already seen:

  • Mundane and repetitive tasks can be automated, saving time, money and resources, and increasing the overall operational efficiency.
  • More sources of data input and more accurate data analytics provide useful insights that leads to better, faster decision making and less human error.
  • AI-powered solutions help businesses respond to customer queries quickly and address situations efficiently.
  • AI is helping businesses across industries to address their challenges more adequately and find the right solutions to solve complex problems.
  • Business forecasting using AI technology enables companies to make critical decisions with more informed data. It also helps prepare them for any emergency.

Integrate AI and Machine Learning into your business

To be successful in almost any industry, businesses must harness the ability to transform their data into actionable insight. AI and machine learning provide organisations with the advantage of automating different manual tasks and operational processes to improve decision making.

At the 848 Group, we have the experience, expertise, and leading technology to design, implement, and support a bespoke solution that helps your business improve automation, increase efficiency, and reduce costs using AI technology.

Work with an experienced IT partner that you can rely on, get in touch with 848 today!