From science fiction books to nightly newscasts, two terms that often appear today are machine learning and artificial intelligence. These terms are frequently used interchangeably yet there are differences between the two. Every person needs to recognize these differences to ensure they are speaking about the correct thing when asking a question or explaining a concept, as both machine learning and artificial intelligence play a role in many daily activities. This is especially true when a person is talking about technological change, big data, and analytics. What should every individual know about these two terms?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Machines are programmed to take on tasks that humans would consider to be ‘smart’.  In fact, ancient Greek myths tell of mechanical men who were created to mimic the behavior of humans, thus this is not a new concept. When computers were first launched in Europe, the designers programmed them to carry out simple tasks, such as mathematical equations, in an effort to create a mechanical brain. Today, those working in the artificial intelligence field strive to create computers that are capable of making decisions in the same way humans do while carrying out tasks that were previously only completed by humans. This is of great importance to the IT specialists at as advances in this field must be monitored at all times to ensure the security of client systems is maintained.

What is Machine Learning?

When machines are given access to data and they take this information and extrapolate from it, this is machine learning. In actuality, machine learning is a subset of artificial learning. Arthur Samuel, back in 1959, first suggested machines may be able to learn for themselves. With the introduction of the internet, however, a shift was made to coding these computers to think like humans. After doing so, the computer could then be connected to the internet and have access to all the information contained on its network. How can this be of benefit to humans?

How Do Humans Benefit From Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

Thanks to the increase in data now available for analysis and the ability of computers to process this data at incredible speeds, a computer can take information and learn from it. As a result, cars now drive themselves, facial recognition software has become more sophisticated, and marketers can learn more about their email subscribers. These are only a few of the many ways in which machine learning and therefore artificial intelligence play a role in everyday lives across the globe. What does this mean for IT specialists who must defend against new threats that appear every day?

IT specialists find they benefit greatly from the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. AI plays a vital role in identifying, assessing and solving online threats, according to Oracle founder Larry Ellison. Companies making use of this technology find they are less vulnerable to an organized cyber attack group and their systems are better able to predict attacks before they occur. Nevertheless, this field is constantly advancing, and a company can never be too safe. For this reason, every IT managed services provider must be making use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to ensure they are providing the highest level of security at all times. Intelligent systems can be of great help in achieving this goal.