Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are two of the hottest concepts in the world of technology at the moment. Both concepts have captured the popular imagination - promising a world of robots, self-driving cars and thinking computers. So what are AI and machine learning?
AI is a broad term applied to machines or computers which demonstrate cognitive intelligence; in other words, the ability to perceive their environment and make autonomous decisions. A good example of AI is Google’s self-driving car project called Waymo. The Waymo prototype vehicles are fitted with a computer system which collects, analyses and acts upon information obtained from sensors and cameras. The vehicles are programmed to behave in an intelligent, yet relatively predictable manner.
Machine learning, which is a field of AI, sets out to create computer systems which can learn, improve and make decisions on their own. The computer algorithms used in machine learning are designed to analyse data (both current and historical), model the results, and then predict a likely outcome. What differentiates machine learning from more predictable forms of AI is that the outcome is not predetermined by human programming. Machine learning is ideal for analysing vast, complex datasets – like those found in medical research and genome sequencing.