What’s The Difference Between Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning?

Are they the same thing?


The difference between artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is that ML is a part of AI. While both are interchangeably used at times, AI is the larger and more complex of the two.

What is AI & ML?

AI vs ML
Image: Unsplash

Before we dive into the differences, let’s briefly go over artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that aims to make computers mimic human intelligence. You can check out our article on Artificial intelligence and its different types if you wish to learn more.

Coming to Machine learning, ML is a branch of artificial intelligence. It studies data and algorithms to teach computers how to make human-like decisions. To know more about it, check out our article on Machine learning.

What’s the difference between AI and ML?

Difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning

As established above, AI is a broader field with larger applications. Machine learning is a sub-field of AI which teaches machines to make data-based decisions.

So, in a nutshell, all Machine learning models are AI models, but the opposite isn’t necessarily true. Both models work toward creating machines that can learn things without the need for explicit programming.

A further difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning is that of application. A Machine learning model trains computers to make certain choices and decisions.

ML models make data-based decisions and improve over time when more data is fed to them. On the other hand, an AI model has a wider set of implementations.

AI creates a unity of models that can make smart decisions. So a key difference between AI and ML is the scope of application. While ML is rather specific, AI targets broader implementation with more functions.

For example, Google Assistant is an example of artificial intelligence. It listens to your voice and delivers specific results. However, the speech recognition that allows Google Assistant to listen to you is a machine learning model.

So, in essence, AI aims to train machines to perform human-like intelligence, and ML trains machines to make smart data-based decisions.

Differences aside, there are many similarities between AI and ML as well. For starters, both are fields of computer science, and there is no jump to one without the study of the other.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Manik Berry

Manik Berry

With a Master’s degree in journalism, Manik writes about big tech and has a keen eye for political-tech news. In his free time, he’s browsing the Kindle store for new stuff read. Manik also adores his motorcycle and is looking for new routes on weekends. He likes tea and cat memes. You can reach him at [email protected]
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