The Battle for Intelligence: Machine Learning vs AI

Published: October 11, 2023

Have you ever wondered about the difference between Machine Learning vs AI? Some people think they’re the same thing, but they’re actually quite different! 

In this article, We will explore the battle for intelligence and learn and break down each technology’s unique features, benefits, and applications. So, which is better, AI or ML

An amalgamation of AI net, ML and Human Brain

Well, it depends on what you want to do! Just look at this Google Trend image to give you an idea of how popular these technologies are. You can see that people have been searching for both AI versus Machine Learning in the last 12 months, and interest in both has been steadily increasing.

The blue line represents search interest in Machine Learning, while the red line represents search interest in Artificial Intelligence.

As you can see, both topics have steadily increased in popularity over the past few years. However, interest in Artificial Intelligence has generally been higher than in Machine Learning. You can see this because the red line is consistently above the blue line.

Google Trends screenshot of Machine learning vs Artificial intelligence 

It’s also interesting to note that there have been several spikes in interest for both topics over the past few years. These spikes are likely due to significant news stories or new developments in the field that captured people’s attention.

What is AI? 

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is a technology that enables machines to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. These tasks can range from simple tasks like recognizing speech or images to more complex tasks like playing games, driving cars, or even making decisions. 

AI uses a combination of algorithms and data to analyze, learn, and make decisions. It’s a rapidly growing field that has the potential to revolutionize many industries, from healthcare to transportation to entertainment. And as the technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more exciting applications of AI in the years to come.

What is ML? 

Machine Learning, or ML, is a type of Artificial Intelligence that focuses on teaching machines how to learn from data, so they can perform specific tasks without being explicitly programmed. Think of it like teaching a computer to recognize patterns and make decisions based on what it has learned. 

For example, ML can be used to build a model that recognizes faces in images or to predict which movie someone might like based on their past viewing habits. The more data the machine is fed, the better it becomes at making predictions and decisions. As a result, it’s a powerful technology with many applications in today’s world.

How AI And Machine Learning Work Together 

Two people working in an office setting together, as one leads and the other performs a task 

“AI” and “Machine Learning” are two friends working together to make things happen. They both have different jobs, but they’re good at working together. AI is like a big-picture planner who knows a lot about many things. 

Machine Learning is like the worker who focuses on specific tasks and gets better at them over time. Artificial Intelligence vs ML is like a friendly competition between two friends – they’re both good, but they have different strengths. 

AI is great at understanding big ideas and making predictions, while Machine Learning is excellent at learning from data and making decisions based on what it has learned. Together, they make a great team and help us solve many problems in our world today.

Artificial Intelligence vs ML: A Side-By-Side Comparison 

Two hourglass side by side with different colored sands representing the comparison

Let us now explore the differences between AI and ML. We have made this comparison in a table form for ease of comprehension.

FactorArtificial Intelligence (AI)Machine Learning (ML)
Scope and FunctionalityBroad, covers a wide range of tasksFocused on specific tasks
ApplicationsVarious, such as chatbots, robotics, and NLPPrimarily used for predictive analytics and decision making
Approach and MethodologyRule-based, expert systems, and neural netsStatistical modelling and algorithms
Human Intervention and LearningLow, can learn from data and make decisionsHigh, requires significant human input for training
Flexibility and AdaptabilityHigh, can adapt to changing environmentsLimited, requires retraining for significant changes
Implementation and ScalabilityComplex and time-consumingLess complex and quicker to implement
Model InterpretabilityLow, challenging to understand how decisions are madeHigh, easy to understand how decisions are made
Data RequirementsLarge amounts of diverse dataRequires structured data
Domain KnowledgeLimited, can learn from dataHigh, requires significant domain expertise
Problem-solving ApproachTop-down, based on prior knowledgeBottom-up, based on data-driven insights

It’s important to note that these comparisons are not absolutes and that both AI vs ML performance is based on their own strengths and weaknesses. Which one to use depends on the specific problem being solved and the resources available for implementation.

5 Advantages of AI 

  1. AI can automate tasks and processes, saving time and reducing costs.
  2. AI algorithms can make more accurate predictions and decisions than humans.
  3. AI can personalize experiences for individual users.
  4. AI can work 24/7, without breaks or rest, improving productivity.
  5. AI can analyze vast amounts of data quickly and efficiently.

If these advantages of AI excite you and make you curious about this career path, then do explore our guide on how to become an AI engineer.

5 Disadvantages of AI 

  1. Potential job loss due to automation
  2. Dependence on technology can lead to vulnerabilities
  3. Bias in algorithms can perpetuate discrimination
  4. Lack of human empathy and intuition in decision-making
  5. Ethical concerns surrounding the use of AI in sensitive applications

5 Advantages of ML 

  1. ML can improve accuracy and reduce errors in decision-making.
  2. ML algorithms can quickly analyze vast amounts of data.
  3. ML can be used to personalize experiences for individual users.
  4. ML can automate repetitive tasks, saving time and reducing costs.
  5. ML can adapt and improve over time, learning from new data.

If these advantages pique your interest in learning more about ML, then check out these best machine learning courses.

5 Disadvantages of ML 

  1. ML algorithms require large amounts of high-quality data to train effectively.
  2. ML can perpetuate bias and discrimination if training data is diverse and representative.
  3. ML models can be challenging to interpret and understand, leading to potential errors or unintended consequences.
  4. ML requires significant technical expertise and resources to develop and deploy effectively.
  5. ML can create a sense of reliance on technology, leading to a loss of critical thinking skills.

Machine Learning vs AI - FAQs

Which Is Better: AI or Machine Learning?

It’s not a matter of which is better, AI or Machine Learning, as they are complementary technologies that work together to solve problems. AI is a broader field that encompasses machine learning, while machine learning is a subset of AI that focuses on using algorithms to learn from data.

Should I Learn AI or ML First?

It depends on your goals and interests. If you want to develop a broad understanding of AI, including both machine learning and other AI techniques, you may want to start with AI. If you want to use algorithms to learn from data and make predictions, you may want to start with machine learning.


What you need to understand as an aspiring ML engineer in the making or an AI engineer in the forming is that the battle between Machine Learning vs AI isn’t about which one is better but rather how they complement each other. AI is a broad field that includes machine learning, while machine learning is a subset of AI that focuses on algorithms to learn from data.

There are differences between AI and ML, such as the scope and functionality, approach and methodology, and human intervention and learning. However, there are also many similarities between AI and ML as well, including their flexibility and adaptability, data requirements, and problem-solving approach.

Both AI and ML have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing which one to use depends on the problem you’re trying to solve and the resources available to you. Whether you’re interested in AI or machine learning, there’s always more to learn. So why not take the next step and dive deeper into the world of AI and machine learning?!  

There are the best ML bootcamps as well as the best AI bootcamps where you can continue to develop your skills and stay up to date with the latest advancements. Start exploring today!