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Lesson 1: Machine Learning vs Artificial Intelligence

Is there a difference?

Two of the biggest trends in technology right now are machine and artificial intelligenceArtificial Intelligence knows many different definitions, but in general it can be defined as a machine completing complex tasks intelligently, meaning that it mirrors human intelligence and evolves with time.. In fact, the two terms are used almost interchangeably. However, there are subtle but important differences between them both. In many ways, machine is a subset of artificial intelligence. Also, the term is older than machine .

What’s the difference?

At its heart, artificial intelligence involves the attempt to make machines think in the way humans do. The famous Turing testAlan Turing constructed a test in the 1950's to determine a machine's intelligence. The test is considered to be passed, when a human cannot tell whether s/he is interacting with a machine or a human. The test as sparked controversy but is an important concept nevertheless.  says that a system can be said to be intelligent if a human judge cannot distinguish the system’s behaviour from that of a human. However, current technology is far off achieving this, so artificial intelligence at the moment simply means creating systems that are good at doing what humans are good at. It is a catch-all term. Machine also harks back to the middle of the twentieth century. Arthur Samuel defined machine as “the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed”.

Uses and applications

The discipline of machine fell out of favour for decades (much like artificial intelligence) but with data mining taking off just before the end of the last century, there was a need for algorithmsAn algorithm is a fixed set of instructions for a computer. It can be very simple like "as long as the incoming number is smaller than 10, print "Hello World!". It can also be very complicated such as the algorithms behind self-driving cars. to look for patterns in each dataset. Machine does this but goes one step further and learns from the process, improving performance as it goes along.

Another thing machine has been used for is . These applications are initially trained by humans to look at images and then describe what they are. After thousands or millions of images are used in training, the machine system can then look at the pixels and work out if a picture is that of a dog, a house, flowers or a person  […]

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