It is 2018, and it’s almost everybody, who have come across the terms Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence or AI. But, I am sure there are many, who do not know the exact difference between these two and might consider them to be synonymous with each other. But if they are same, why there are two different terms then! And, if they are different from each other, where exactly, the difference lie, and what are the similarities! Let’s find out!
Difference between Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Learning and intelligence in everyday life
For the time being, let’s keep artificial intelligence, and machine learning out of the picture, and concentrate on learning and intelligence. Yes, I am talking about human learning and intelligence. We all went to primary schools, and learned the basics of education! Later on, we all grew up, learned new things, and also learned the way to apply them in our everyday life!
But, can mathematics, English, or any other such subject make us intelligent! No! Learning a lot of English can make you a good speaker, author, blogger, etc. And learning a lot of mathematics can also make you a mathematician, an engineer or something else. What I mean to say is that the courses we learn in schools and college are meant to teach us something so that we can have sound knowledge on that subject.
But, intelligence is something completely different. In order to become intelligent, we need to communicate with others, get exposure to numerous problems in life, which eventually teaches us to take decisions. Yes, that is intelligence. There is no doubt, the things we learn in schools and colleges can also teach us to take decisions, but that is limited only to that subject.
But, when we learn other things by getting exposure to some real-life problems that make us intelligent. Hope, the difference between learning and intelligence is now clear to you!
Basics of machine learning and AI
Now let’s switch our attention to machine learning and artificial intelligence. Just like learning, machine learning is also like teaching a machine, which can help the machine take decisions, or solve problems, which are, in some way, related to the information, taught, or given to the machine. Thus, the scope of machine learning is limited.
For example, you might teach a machine to recognize a human face. You will have to show thousands of photos of the human face, and it is only after that, the machine can comprehend the structure of a human face. Once you are done doing that, the machine can recognize a human face from many photos shown to it. But, that machine will not be intelligent enough to recognize the face of any other animal, as it is not taught to do that.
There are numerous machine learning examples, and one of them is the personal assistants, which we use on your smartphones, like Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, etc.
Personal assistants and machine learning
What happened in the personal assistants is that it is fed with a knowledge base, which is a set of data, a machine can understand. From time to time, the knowledge base gets updated with new information, and they eventually make the personal assistants smarter. Let’s take the example of Google Assistant. We search a billion things on Google, and that data, in turn, is mined, and the useful part is fed to the Google Assistant, to make it smarter. Google Assistant is smart enough to answer questions, which is already known to it, but not something beyond it. It can never answer questions, which is not taught to it, or if it is something, which is completely new to it. But yes, Google Assistant has a lot of data, kudos to its numerous services, which in turn is used to use our data in some productive way, and as a result of that, it can answer almost everything, but it isn’t still an example of AI.
In most cases, I have seen, Google fail to differentiate between a rabbit and a cat photo, and that’s my personal observation. If Google is reading this, please fix it.
Self-driving cars and machine learning
It is 2018, and if there is anybody, who haven’t heard of self-driving cars, they are still living under the rock. The self-driving car is a great example of machine learning, where the car is provided with some data, with which, it can take decisions, while it is on the road. But, are self-driving cars intelligent! Yes, they are. But the application of that intelligence is limited to driving safely, and make the passenger reach the destination in the smartest way. Your self-driving car is not smart enough to give you any kind of relationship pieces of advice, lest you need it. Thus, self-driving cars can be considered to be one of the machine learning examples, but not a device, which is artificially intelligent.
The basics of Artificial Intelligence or AI
Now, let’s move on to Artificial Intelligence or AI. As I said about intelligence, it is all about getting exposure to new things, and use common sense to make decisions. As far as AI is concerned, it should work and take decisions just like human beings. There isn’t any machine which is intelligent like human beings, and thus, an intelligent machine just like a human being is still a myth. Though there are some AI bots, which claim to be the applications of Artificial Intelligence, but they are still considered to be showpieces is some fancy exhibitions. Yes, they are intelligent, but not completely. Though we might see machines, intelligent like human beings, maybe in the next decade, but it is a matter of time.
Though complete AI is still a myth, I will not deny, machine learning is the initial stage of AI, and it is only through machine learning, AI can be achieved in a machine. It is not possible to write billions of lines of code to make a machine artificially intelligent, skipping the concept of machine learning.
If a machine is made to learn a number of things, related to a particular subject, it will eventually become a smart machine, which will be able to solve different kinds of problems and take numerous decisions associated with that subject. In the same way, things associated with different other spheres of life should also be taught to the same machine, to make it one of the smartest machines. But, there should be a link between all kinds of data, taught to the machine, and it is only through that, a machine be said to be the most appropriate application of AI. There are a number of AI bots, which are seen online, which are smart and intelligent enough, but not like human beings. Unless a machine is smart like human beings, the true potential of AI an hardly be achieved.
Hope the difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence is clear to you now. Do you have any other queries in your mind? Do not forget to comment it down, in the comment section below.
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