Machine learning and artificial intelligence are two parts of computer science that are inextricably linked. These two technologies are the most popular ones used for building intelligent systems today. Even though these two technologies are related and occasionally used interchangeably, they are still two distinct terms in a variety of contexts. Most people frequently mix up the two terms and use them interchangeably.

Although machine learning is a part of artificial intelligence, these two terms actually refer to two distinct ideas. Of the many subjects that make up artificial intelligence, machine learning is merely one small subset. To understand the difference between machine learning and AI, let’s first understand their definitions.1

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the science that creates computer systems that can mimic human intelligence. It is made up of the words “artificial” and “intelligence,” which mean “a thinking ability produced by humans.”

“Artificial intelligence is a technology using which we can create intelligent systems that can simulate human intelligence.”1

Rather than being preprogrammed, artificial intelligence algorithms function with their own intelligence. It uses machine learning techniques like deep learning neural networks and the reinforcement learning algorithm. Artificial intelligence is used in a variety of applications, including Siri, Google’s AlphaGo, etc.

Machine learning

By analyzing data, machine learning can extract knowledge. It is a type of learning in which a machine can pick up knowledge without being explicitly programmed. 

“Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence, which enables machines to learn from past data or experiences without being explicitly programmed.”1

In order for a machine learning model to produce accurate results or make predictions based on that data, a vast amount of structured and semi-structured data is used in machine learning. It operates on a self-learning algorithm that makes use of historical data. It only functions for specific domains; for example, if we build a machine learning model to find images of dogs, it will only return results for dog images; however, if we add new data, such as a cat image, the model will stop working. Machine learning is used in various applications, including Facebook’s automatic friend suggestion feature, Google’s search algorithms, email spam filters, and online recommender systems.
Key Distinctions Between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.2, 1

ML vs AI

Now that you understand the key differences between artificial intelligence and machine learning, head over to BYJU’s FutureSchool Blog to learn more about their applications and other coding-related topics.


  1. Difference between Artificial intelligence and Machine learning – Javatpoint. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022, from 
  2. Difference between Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence – GeeksforGeeks. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022, from