Artificial intelligence and machine learning: relationship and differences

Surely you have heard many times the concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning,

because in recent years its application in many fields such as industry, commerce or medicine, is showing great results.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are closely related, but they are not the same thing. For this reason, we will see what machine learning is, its main differences with artificial intelligence, and the benefits it brings when applied to a company or industry.

What is machine learning

Machine learning is a process by which machines or devices are able to learn autonomously,

i.e. the machine is able to learn without being specifically programmed to do so.

Within artificial intelligence, machine learning is a discipline that uses advanced algorithms to

identify massive patterns and develop predictions. This predictive analysis allows computers to perform a series of processes and tasks without the need to be programmed to do so.

How it works and its features

With machine learning, machines learn autonomously using three main ways.

Supervised learning is based on a system of labels linked to data on which to base

decisions or develop predictions (e.g., to detect spam in an email, learning as it receives more


Unsupervised learning implies that algorithms have no data or knowledge, facing large

volumes of information in order to identify patterns and proceed to organize them (e.g., to

intelligently analyze large volumes of data).

Reinforcement learning is based on trial and error, whereby algorithms learn to make

correct decisions by discarding erroneous decisions they have already made (e.g., in medical

applications to classify DNA sequences, or in facial recognition systems).

Differences between machine learning and artificial intelligence

Let's look at some of the differences between artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence that aims to make a machine learn


• Artificial intelligence is the ability of a computer, device or machine to exhibit intelligent

human-like behavior, while machine learning is the techniques used to improve such


• While artificial intelligence seeks to create systems capable of solving complex problems,

machine learning aims to make machines learn by analyzing data.

• Artificial intelligence applications in companies help automate and optimize processes with

advanced AI tools, while machine learning is used to analyze large volumes of data and

extract information of value to the business (convert data into knowledge).

To understand the main difference between both related concepts we can give the example of an intelligent system to play chess. While with artificial intelligence it is possible to develop a system capable of playing chess intelligently, with machine learning the system is provided with the ability to earn as it plays.

Advantages of applying machine learning

Machine learning applied to industry or companies offers a series of very interesting benefits, among which we can highlight:

Analyze large volumes of information intelligently

One of the major applications of machine learning in a company is big data or analysis of large volumes of data. Companies currently handle a large amount of information that comes from numerous sources such as direct contacts, phone calls, email, online chats, web forms, etc. It is possible to analyze all this unstructured information quickly and intelligently to obtain patterns and extract useful knowledge for the company by applying machine learning.

Improved decision making

Machine learning applied to the company allows faster and more accurate decisions to be made based on the intelligent analysis of a large amount of data. This advantage affects all areas of the company, such as marketing, finance and human resources decisions, for example.

Improve the company's performance

Machine learning helps companies improve their processes and tasks to boost their productivity and level of competitiveness. It can be used to improve logistic processes, e-commerce development, optimize digital marketing strategies, improve consumer knowledge, in the development of new products...

Cost savings

Applying machine learning in a company involves automating processes and tasks and

increasing their efficiency, which helps to optimize the use of resources and achieve very

interesting cost savings.

We have seen the differences between artificial intelligence and machine learning. Although they are related, they cannot be used as synonyms, since the first talks about the programmed capabilities of machines and the second focuses on making them capable of learning on their own, without the need to be programmed to do so.