Artificial intelligence (AI) vs. machine learning (ML)

Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning

You may hear the word “AI” and “Machine Learning,” particularly when it comes to Big Data, Predictive Analytics or other digital transformation issues, being used in different ways. It’s understandable that this confusion is closely related to artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, the trend technology differs from one another in various ways, such as scope, application and so on.

In recent years, as enterprises increasingly use AI and ML to process and analyze huge volumes of data, drive better decision making, generate recommendations and insight in real time, and create accurate forecasts and predictions, there has been an increasing proliferation of these products.

So, what’s the difference in ML versus AI, how does it relate to each other and what do these terms mean for organizations today? 

We will look at AI versus ML, how the two innovative concepts are connected and what distinguishes them from each other.

What is artificial intelligence?

The use of technologies to build machines and computers that are capable of imitating cognitive functions related to human intelligence such as being able to perceive, understand, respond to spoken or written language, analyses data, make recommendations etc. is a broad term used for artificial intelligence.

Though artificial intelligence may be regarded as a system in itself, the technology that enables it to reason, learn and act on complex problems is part of an entire system.

What is machine learning?

A subset of AI, machine learning is a process which enables machines or systems that are inspired by experience to develop and improve. Machine Learning relies on algorithms for analyzing huge quantities of data, learning from their findings and taking appropriate decisions instead of explicit programming.

As the AI is trained and becomes exposed to new data, its performance improves over time. The output is a machine learning model, or what the program learns when it runs an algorithm for training data. The more data you use, the better the model will be.

How are AI and ML connected?

But AI and ML aren’t very similar, they’re pretty much related. How AI and ML are related is the easiest way of understanding: 

  • AI stands for artificial intelligence, which enables machines or systems to sense, reason, behave and adapt like humans. 
  • Machine Learning is the use of artificial intelligence, which allows machines to take their knowledge from data and autonomously study it.

It’s useful to see them as an umbrella group when thinking about the difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence. The main term that refers to a variety of specific approaches and algorithms is artificial intelligence. This umbrella includes machine learning as well as other key aspects of the discipline, e.g., Deep Learning, Robotics, Expert Systems and Natural Language Processing.

Differences between AI and ML

Now that you grasp their connection, what’s the key difference between AI and ML?

While artificial intelligence revolves around creating machines that replicate human intelligence, machine learning takes a different approach. Machine learning focuses on training machines to execute particular tasks effectively and yield precise outcomes through pattern recognition.

Consider this scenario: you inquire of your Google Nest device, “What’s my commute duration today?” In response, you receive an estimate of the time it takes to drive to your workplace. In this case, you’re tasking a machine to successfully complete a job you would typically carry out, such as researching your commute time, in a real-life situation.

The purpose of ML in a system as a whole is not to allow it to carry out the task, according to this example. If you are planning the volume and density of a transport flow, such algorithms can be trained to analyze real time transit and traffic data. But in order to optimize the performance of such a specific task, it is restricted to identifying patterns, finding out how accurately these predictions are made and learning from them.

Artificial intelligence

  • AI permits a machine to imitate human intelligence for problem-solving.
  • The objective is to create an intelligent system capable of tackling intricate tasks.
  • We design systems to resolve complex challenges similar to humans.
  • AI finds applications across a broad spectrum of fields.
  • AI employs technologies within a system to replicate human decision-making.
  • AI operates effectively with various data types: structured, semi-structured, and unstructured.
  • AI systems utilize logic and decision trees to acquire knowledge, deduce, and rectify themselves.

Machine learning

  • ML enables a machine to independently learn from historical data.
  • The objective is to construct machines that learn from data to enhance output precision.
  • We educate machines using data to accomplish precise tasks and outcomes.
  • Machine learning is confined to certain application domains.
  • ML employs self-learning algorithms for generating predictive models.
  • ML exclusively operates with structured and semi-structured data.
  • ML systems depend on statistical models for learning and can rectify themselves when exposed to fresh data.

Benefits of using AI and ML together

AI and ML offer significant advantages to organizations, regardless of their scale or industry, and the potential for fresh opportunities is ceaselessly expanding. Especially as data volumes increase in both magnitude and intricacy, automated and intelligent systems are becoming indispensable tools for companies, aiding in task automation, value extraction, and the generation of actionable insights. These insights, in turn, lead to improved outcomes.

Here are several key business benefits that arise from the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning:

Expanding Data Horizons: Encompassing the analysis and utilization of an extended spectrum of unstructured and structured data sources.

Swifter Decision-Making: Enhancing data integrity, expediting data processing, and minimizing human error to enable more rapid and well-informed decision-making.

Enhanced Efficiency: Amplifying operational efficiency and curtailing costs.

Integrated Analytics: Empowering employees by seamlessly integrating predictive analytics and insights into business reporting and applications.

Applications of AI and ML

The versatile applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) offer organizations a myriad of opportunities to automate tasks, streamline processes, and drive data-informed decision-making. Across diverse industries, companies are harnessing the potential of AI and ML to revolutionize their operations and business strategies. By integrating these capabilities into their systems and approaches, organizations are redefining data utilization, enhancing productivity, optimizing decision-making through predictive analytics, and ultimately elevating customer and employee experiences.

Here’s a glimpse into some of the most prevalent applications of AI and ML:

Healthcare and Life Sciences

Patient Health Record Analysis and Insights: Leveraging AI and ML to analyze patient health records, identifying patterns and insights that aid in diagnosis and treatment.

Outcome Forecasting and Modeling: Using predictive analytics to anticipate medical outcomes, enabling proactive interventions.

Accelerated Drug Development: Streamlining the drug discovery process by analyzing vast datasets to identify potential candidates for further research.

Augmented Diagnostics: Assisting medical professionals in accurate diagnosis by analyzing medical images and identifying anomalies.

Patient Monitoring: Employing IoT devices and ML algorithms to monitor patient health remotely and provide timely alerts.

Information Extraction from Clinical Notes: Automating the extraction of valuable information from complex clinical notes for research and analysis.

You might also like: Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Revolutionizing and Saving Lives


Production Machine Monitoring: Utilizing AI-powered sensors to monitor production machinery, ensuring optimal performance and minimizing downtime.

Predictive Maintenance: Applying ML algorithms to predict equipment failures and maintenance needs, optimizing production schedules.

IoT Analytics: Analyzing data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices to optimize operations, enhance efficiency, and reduce costs.

Operational Efficiency: Implementing AI-driven solutions to streamline processes, reduce waste, and enhance overall operational efficiency.

Ecommerce and Retail

Inventory and Supply Chain Optimization: Utilizing AI and ML to forecast demand, optimize inventory levels, and ensure efficient supply chain management.

Demand Forecasting: Analyzing historical data and external factors to accurately predict product demand and adjust inventory accordingly.

Visual Search: Enhancing user experiences by enabling visual search functionality, allowing customers to find products using images.

Personalized Offers and Experiences: Using ML algorithms to tailor product recommendations and offers based on individual preferences and behaviors.

Recommendation Engines: Implementing AI-powered recommendation engines to suggest products to customers, increasing sales and customer satisfaction.

Financial Services

Risk Assessment and Analysis: Employing AI and ML to assess credit risk, fraud risk, and market risk, enhancing accuracy in financial decision-making.

Fraud Detection: Utilizing ML algorithms to detect unusual patterns and anomalies in financial transactions, identifying potential fraud.

Automated Trading: Implementing AI-powered algorithms for automated trading, leveraging real-time data and market insights.

Service Processing Optimization: Streamlining backend financial processes, such as loan approvals and claims processing, through automation and ML-driven insights.


Intelligent Networks and Network Optimization: Using AI to optimize network performance, allocate resources efficiently, and enhance user experiences.

Predictive Maintenance: Applying ML to predict network equipment failures and maintenance needs, ensuring uninterrupted services.

Business Process Automation: Automating routine tasks and processes, such as customer support inquiries and billing, to improve efficiency.

Upgrade Planning and Capacity Forecasting: Using ML to plan network upgrades and predict future capacity requirements, ensuring seamless service delivery.

In each of these domains, the integration of AI and ML is driving transformative changes, reshaping industries, and shaping the way organizations operate and serve their customers.


In conclusion, the distinction between AI and ML is pivotal in understanding how each technology contributes to modern business operations. While AI is the broader concept of simulating human intelligence, ML focuses on training machines for specific tasks by recognizing patterns. Their integration brings transformative benefits, driving informed decisions, enhancing efficiency, and revolutionizing industries across the board.

Author Bio: Zalu Patel is a Content Writer for Webtual: IT Solution, writing blogs and content for the company’s clients’ websites. Graduating from Brock University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, Zalu ventured as a freelance journalist for a year covering politics, social issues, music and culture and has published articles based on said subjects.

Spencer is a tech enthusiast and passionately exploring the ever-changing world of technology. With a background in computer science, he effortlessly blends technical expertise with eloquent prose, making complex concepts accessible to all. Spencer wants to inspire readers to embrace the marvels of modern technology and responsibly harness its potential. Twitter

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