Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence: What's The Difference

Reading time5 minutes
Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

When the subject is machine learning vs artificial intelligence, a common misconception is that these terms refer to the same concept. They don't. Despite being interconnected, it's important to understand how they differ from each other to know they can be applied in multiple ways.

With the rapid development of new technologies, machine learning and AI no longer belong only to the field of ideas, but have been put into practice in several projects, for instance, to process and analyze big volumes of data, and generate accurate forecasts and predictions. 

By comprehending those terms, you will be able to know how they work, discover their benefits, and explore their use in different areas. That can be helpful to find new and more effective solutions to challenges you are facing in your job. Check out the full article to learn more. 

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence that uses algorithms to analyze large amounts of data and learn from it. A machine learning-based system improves performance as it gets access to more data. The more it knows the better the results it can offer.

A machine learning model recognizes patterns in data and is able to perform complex tasks thanks to that. Programmers have been exploring this field to understand how far it can go, to improve perception and cognition.

From that, a new field was created, which is called Deep Learning. It uses neural networks to mimic the human brain and complete even more complex tasks. 

An example of machine learning use is when you receive recommendations about what to watch next on a streaming platform. It analyzes what you have watched to understand your preferences and give accurate suggestions. 

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence consists of creating software, computers, robots, and other machines that are capable of mimicking cognitive functions related to human intelligence. Therefore, they become able to perform activities that were previously only performed by humans such as data analysis, language translation, and decision-making.

It's an umbrella term that encompasses various subfields, including machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), deep learning, and robotics. AI is used in voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, and smart devices, and has been implemented to develop software such as ChatGPT.

Regarding machine learning vs artificial intelligence, these areas complement each other since machine learning is a category inside a broader area that is AI. While artificial intelligence is the process of simulating human cognitive behavior, machine learning does that with the purpose of learning specific tasks by analyzing data. 

Therefore, AI is a wider concept, and machine learning is one of the possible applications to this concept. Both of them have been developed to make computers smarter and capable of offering the best solutions, for example by suggesting actions based on data analysis. 

Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence: Differences

Although these concepts are interconnected, there are many differences between machine learning and artificial intelligence. Beginning by its range, AI is an area that encompasses many others that are centered around being able to simulate human functions.

Machine learning, on the other hand, is just one method of mimicking cognitive human function. It focuses on enabling machines to learn from data. AI works with all types of data, while machine learning can process only structured and semi-structured data.

Benefits of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

If you are looking for solutions to improve productivity, increase profit, and reduce risks,  understanding how AI and machine learning can be implemented in your job will expand your horizons and offer interesting possibilities. 

Accurate Data Analysis

One of the main benefits is the capability to analyze a large volume of data in a short period of time and generate reports. You will be able to evaluate performance, identify problems, find solutions, and make data-driven decisions.

Faster Decision-Making

AI and machine learning allow you to accelerate data processing, which will save you time and reduce the risks of human error. 

Increased Operational Efficiency

The implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence also improves operational efficiency. It allows you to automate different types of tasks to drive your attention to more important ones. 

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Use

Machine learning and artificial intelligence have shown to be valuable assets in multiple areas and you can see them being used every day in industry sectors like manufacturing, banking, and healthcare.

Manufacturing Industry

Artificial intelligence is used to identify errors in the machinery, preventing malfunctions. It uses the Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, and machine learning to do that. Another functionality is implementing machine learning to study energy consumption patterns and adjust to save energy.   

Digital supply chains have also been applied to avoid problems and forecast delays. Besides, retailers are adopting AI and machine learning to optimize their inventories, build recommendation engines, and improve customer experience by enabling visual search. 


Fraud detection, risk assessment and analysis, and automated trading are some of the uses for AI in the finance sector. Banks have implemented machine learning systems to prevent cyber attacks, and increase security, for example by integrating computer vision with biometrics to quickly identify users' identities and documents. 


The healthcare sector also benefits from AI. Through machine learning, the patient's health records are analyzed to provide insights and clinical decision support. AI is also used to predict outcomes, prevent readmissions, and reduce the time patients are kept in hospitals. 

Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence: The Future

As you can see when the subject is machine learning vs artificial intelligence, many possibilities are being explored. Scientists from different fields are continuously testing new applications to develop technologies that once seemed a thing of science fiction movies, but are now part of our reality. 

Try to keep yourself up to date with the ongoing changes related to artificial intelligence. This can help you stand out in your professional life, and you avoid being left behind.

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