Should I Learn Machine Learning Before AI?

Written by Adam Morris

Updated August 4, 2023
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It is becoming increasingly commonplace for professionals to utilize and comprehend AI and its applications. But should you learn machine learning before pursuing AI?

While advances in technology are making the subject easier to approach, it can still be intimidating for many new learners. Machine learning (ML) offers an accessible starting point for those wishing to take on AI-related concepts. ML is a subfield of AI, providing a more simplified system in which to experiment with datasets, algorithms and more without navigating the vastness of AI itself.

This article delves into the question: should beginners start off by learning machine learning before moving onto artificial intelligence? We explore various related topics such as differences between ML and AI, frameworks used in each discipline, and educational paths that novices could take in order to better understand the two disciplines.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which enables computers to analyze data and generate accurate predictions. The algorithms used in machine learning use various techniques to adjust their predictions when new data becomes available. This approach is particularly effective for particular jobs, as the machine can tailor its output dependent on the data it has available.

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Unfortunately, this renders it nearly impossible for the machine to develop knowledge about related tasks without continuous reprogramming. Since machine learning requires a large amount of data and powerful computing capacity, AI processes are necessary in order to make any use of them.

Additionally, collecting relevant data poses an additional hurdle for practical application as this needs to be done with utmost care and security regulations need to be adhered too if dealing with personal data of customers or users. Therefore, intelligent automation must come into play for a successful application of both AI and machine learning technologies.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an innovative concept of engineering computer systems with the capacity to perform duties that were once only possible by intelligent creatures. This field of computer science concentrates on creating machines that are able to act and respond just like humans do.

Artificial Intelligence robot walking beside old woman in wheelchair in hallway

Artificial Intelligence is a field of computing that strives to develop machines with the ability to tackle challenges, learn from experience, comprehend context, make autonomous decisions and identify objects. Even more advanced tasks like self-driving automobiles or robotics are now possible thanks to AI.

Banking, healthcare, marketing and social media are all leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimize their processes. These algorithms are revolutionizing the way these industries function.

Recent developments in artificial intelligence have been providing powerful tools for increased automation with significant progress being made on autonomous driving, facial recognition methods as well as voice synthesis technologies employed by Amazon’s Alexa devices and Siri. Tesla has revolutionized the semi-autonomous vehicle industry and their accomplishments speak volumes. Cars fitted with the software have driven over half a billion miles since October 2015 – an impressive feat!

Data Science

Data science is a powerful field that combines the collection, structuring and analysis of data from various sources to uncover relationships and develop actionable implications. This technology-driven approach provides valuable insights through its unique blend of scientific knowledge and technological capabilities.

This enables businesses to develop predictive models and build customized solutions that provide opportunities for better decision-making and a competitive edge over rivals. Data scientists therefore use modern techniques such as artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning to manage vast amounts of unstructured data into useful insights that can shape strategies.

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Data science involves collecting, merging, modeling, analyzing, taking feedback of data sets gathered from different sources including online platforms like social media sites. People in data science jobs need to be adept at using analytics software such as Python and R. Moreover, those with data science skills must also have strong problem-solving skills in order to interpret the findings from datasets more effectively.

Data scientists may identify trends or evaluate customer behavior on websites or apps which can contribute towards organizational progress. By using these analytic insights, an organization can make changes to their product offerings or market position quickly by deploying automated algorithms based on conditions dictated by realtime analysis outcomes.

Deep Learning

Deep learning is revolutionizing machine learning models and artificial intelligence, bringing a powerful new methodology to the world of technology. It uses something called deep neural networks, which are designed after the human’s biological neural network. The way a deep neural network learns is similar to how our own brain processes elements around us through practicing and correcting mistakes.

In this form of reinforcement learning, a normal neural network contains one hidden layer. This provides an automated system that can make decisions on its own after gathering data and analyzing patterns based on trained structures.

Deep learning models are able to learn from huge amounts of data points as well as manage task such as identifying images, recognizing speech, and natural language processing (NLP) more accurately than ever before.

Unlike traditional AI, deep learning builds its models gradually over time, each time replicating a human-level understanding of complex problems with greater accuracy by utilizing sophisticated mathematical models that facilitate optimization of its own algorithms while maximizing outcomes – much like humans would do when presented with a difficult task.

Furthermore, deep learning allows computers to learn without being explicitly programmed which can be used in environments where preprogrammed or explicit rules may not be available or easily applicable.

AI vs Machine Learning

AI systems can analyze huge amounts of data quickly and learn from past experiences by utilizing machine learning techniques. From voice recognition to robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) powers some of the most cutting-edge technologies today. AI capabilities range from natural language processing and computer vision to complex robotic applications.

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Machine Learning focuses on creating algorithms that enable computers to learn automatically from experiences and improve their performance with minimal programming intervention. The core elements are feature extraction from raw data, pattern recognition and decision making based on structured models.

Machine learning can be supervised or unsupervised learning depending upon whether labeled training data is provided or not to the system.

With applied ML algorithms, tasks such as identifying objects in an image, recommending items to users, forecasting future revenues etc., can be accomplished effectively by a machine.

Data Science vs Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning

Data Science is an umbrella term used to define the complex process of analyzing raw data and creating strategies based on that analysis. It involves everything from collecting and organizing large amounts of data to creating algorithms, models, and insights. Data Science includes the use of technologies such as Machine Learning, AI, and Big Data Analysis.

To put it simply, Data Scientists take data and transform it into actionable insights for businesses or organizations to use.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) enables machines and programs to act more intelligently. To do this, computer-based neural networks, logical systems, autonomous robots performing particular tasks are put in place as well as natural language processing system for communication between humans and machines.

From the banking world to healthcare, chatbots are transforming customer relations by providing a more efficient and personalized experience. They can identify patterns or correlations in data that are too complex or time-consuming for humans alone.

Utilizing Machine Learning (ML), computers can enhance their capabilities by uncovering valuable insights from vast amounts of data. This form of Artificial Intelligence is incredibly powerful, allowing devices to learn and improve over time through exposure to new information. ML algorithms and analytic techniques provide invaluable insight into past behavior, enabling machines to respond more efficiently in future scenarios.

ML focuses on predictive analytics which enables computers to understand user behavior after repeated exposures or interactions enabling them to produce more accurate results than ever before.

Career in ML

Companies are rapidly recognizing the immense value of data and its potential for growth, leading to an unprecedented need for roles related to machine learning. As the volume of data and its speed of processing accelerates, there’s a greater necessity for those who possess knowledge in machine learning.

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Individuals interested in machine learning may consider roles such as data scientist or machine learning engineer. Both of these positions offer the opportunity to make use of one’s knowledge and expertise within this exciting field. Both roles involve using algorithmic models and statistical methods to interpret vast amounts of data and then turn it into useful insights which can be used by businesses.

Data scientists can also help with developing predictive analytics models and advice on how best to leverage technologies such as AI and neural networks.

Those applying for these roles should have an understanding of various classical algorithms and numerical libraries like SciPy, NumPy and Pandas as well as be comfortable with coding using programming languages like Python or R.

Career in AI

AI has been defined as the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines and that’s why it’s becoming so popular. A few examples of roles within the AI job industry are self-driving car engineers, computer vision researchers, machine learning specialists, and natural language processing engineers.

Self-driving car engineers develop autonomous driving technologies for automated vehicles with the help of AI elements such as computer vision and object recognition models. On the other hand, computer vision researchers develop models that can detect what an image contains or which objects appear in an image given a set of training data.

Should I Learn Machine Learning First or Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become incredibly trendy in the present day, offering a broad range of applications that prove to be extremely advantageous. However, if you’re getting into the details, they refer to different concepts and approaches.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) deals with building machines that can simulate human behavior or thought processes while Machine Learning focuses on creating systems that can improve their performance automatically through data-driven decisions.

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Assessing your goals is an important factor in deciding which language to start studying. Utilizing free online courses and tutorials can help to build the skills necessary for success. Ultimately, both topics are highly related and whichever path you choose will provide an in-depth understanding of the respective subject matters.

Consider Your Goals

Identifying the objectives of your AI and ML project is crucial for successful implementation. It’s key to stay mindful of what outcomes you desire from these powerful technologies. Do you intend to work specifically in AI or ML, or are you more generally interested in the fields as a whole? Narrowing down the list of activities you wish to engage in can help determine where your attention should be primarily directed.

If your primary interest lies with AI, then it would make sense to read introductory materials related specifically to this area. Conversely, those intending on working professionally in ML may wish to start their research there instead.

For those who are more broadly interested in both areas, then it can be beneficial firstly researching introductory materials related only their particular areas of interest before delving into either AI or ML as a whole. It is always helpful for one beginning any new endeavor will all the relevant information available beforehand so that they can perform at the highest level possible from the get go.

How To Learn Machine Learning?

A prerequisite in math or any knowledge of algorithms is not needed to begin your journey. Before you dive into the deep end of the pool, try your hand at some simpler machine learning projects first. Kaggle is a great source for this. With this knowledge, you will have the necessary skills to create models from data and further develop more complex concepts in the future.

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Even if you only work on one project, it will still provide great value and insight into machine learning on its own. With this one project, you can learn basic data processing techniques such as visualization, and data analytics using popular machine learning libraries like TensorFlow or Scikit-Learn.


Which is easy to learn AI or ML?

AI is simpler to understand than ML, and may be a preferable option for those new to the tech industry. In AI, the algorithms and techniques used are predetermined and follow certain rules, which makes them easier to understand. On the other hand, ML uses many mathematical models in order to model complex data sets. This requires more background knowledge and more advanced programming skills. It is simpler to grasp the concepts in AI first before learning about machine learning algorithms. Consequently, those just beginning their journey of understanding Artificial Intelligence should begin by gaining a fundamental knowledge before advancing to Machine Learning.

Can I learn deep learning without machine learning?

While discovering deep learning can enable you to create programs and gain a competitive business edge, it is not possible to learn deep learning without machine learning knowledge. Additionally, understanding the basic building blocks of mathematics used in Machine Learning such as linear regression and neural networks will help you ensure that your programming works correctly with the Deep Learning algorithms you construct.

What should I learn before learning AI?

Before entering the realm of AI, developing a comprehensive understanding of foundational programming principles and algorithms is essential. Data structures such as lists, dictionaries, and trees are essential to writing code that can work with the data necessary for training AI models. Understanding search algorithms such as breadth-first and Dijkstra’s algorithm will also be beneficial when creating automated agents. Additionally, having some basic knowledge of statistics, linear algebra, and calculus is also useful for understanding how many ML techniques perform.

Can I learn AI in 3 months?

Learning AI in 3 months is possible, but it depends on the individual’s level of motivation and commitment. Depending on the initial knowledge someone possesses and their desired goals with AI, there are a variety of learning paths that can be pursued over 3 months. Utilize the large selection of resources available from Coursera, Udacity, and MIT Open Courseware to speed up your learning process. With enough dedication and effort, it is possible to build a solid foundation in AI in 3 months.

Is Python necessary for AI?

AI development is effortless with Python due to its intuitive language, malleability and abundance of libraries and modules. Although not mandatory, it’s a great choice for any programmer looking to build smart projects quickly. Furthermore, Python can quickly process complex algorithms and is resource-light. Compared to C++ and Java, AI development with Python is now swifter and more seamless than ever before. Renowned frameworks like TensorFlow, Theano, Scikit-Learn, Keras, and PyTorch are all supported by this amazing language.

Adam is a crypto expert & AI enthusiast who has been researching and writing on the topics since 2017.

He’s spoken on numerous podcasts and has been featured in many prominent media publications such as Forbes, CNN & CNBC.