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Understanding the Intricacies of Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence

AI, Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence

Trends in computer skills change nearly every day, but if you tap into artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) skills, you can easily see into the future of the industry. The old joke used to be that the robots were coming for our jobs, but the reality is we’re after the robot jobs — at least when it comes down to ML and AI. In fact, the tech around these systems is some of the most in-demand in the world today.

The first step to make the leap into AI and ML is to understand how the two terms fit together. Despite some misconceptions, they’re not the same things.

  • Artificial Intelligence is a term that pre-dates the actual birth of the computer, and really refers to a device that operates in a way that is similar to how human beings think. That might mean making decisions that are reasoned as if a human brain were making the choices.
  • Machine Learning, by contrast, is the actual programming of certain rules that help machines operate smarter on their own. It’s the rules that lead to the results.

An example of AI in modern life might be sitting in the same room with you right now. Your voice-command controls like Siri or Alexa are smart enough to understand (or get pretty close) your commands to turn off a device or look up some information. While AI sometimes gets it wrong, the system can in turn learn from its mistakes, using ML algorithms to get smarter.

“Machine learning is the reason for the rapid improvement in the capabilities of voice-activated user interface,” noted Bernard Marr in a 2018 article in Forbes. “For example, Google speech was able to improve its error rate tremendously in a year; now it recognizes 19 out of 20 words it hears.”

The most innovative products for the largest tech companies — beyond Amazon, think Apple, Microsoft, and Google — are based in AI and ML, and they’re looking for recruits. But that’s not the only place you can see the tech in action. In fact, it’s at the heart of nearly every current news story around the world: the Coronavirus.

Artificial intelligence is used to track and anticipate human movements through data modeling and interpretation. AI is currently in use to track virus spread with COVID-19, as well as economic recovery and the best path through a global pandemic. AI is being used to analyze scientific information to better understand the virus itself, diagnose the virus, and even monitor and assess health risks in crowds. Machine learning is also in use in modern life that’s still taking place in the middle of a pandemic, like at Uber, whose software gives ETAs for when your ride will appear, as well as when they think your credit card information is being used fraudulently.

These are simple implementations of AI and ML that fill our world today, and soon they will feel as natural as depositing a check through a mobile app or using a digital face filter to enhance your appearance with your smartphone. Soon we’ll be commanding our very own computer assistants to complete complex permutations of our grandest ideas — with or without an Ironman suit waiting in the wings.

Sounds exciting, right? If you want to expand your knowledge of machine learning and artificial intelligence, sign up for Cognixia’s Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning training course, available in either a live classroom or live virtual classroom format.


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