Artificial Intelligence defined

The new buzzword in the industry is “Artificial Intelligence” (AI).  But exactly what is AI and how does it compare to “machine learning” and “deep learning”?  The best definitions I have seen come from the excellent article “Why Deep Learning is Suddenly Changing Your Life”:

AI Terms

So, AI is really an umbrella name and underneath it is categories like machine learning and deep learning.  In the Microsoft world, products that fit into the machine learning include Azure ML and Microsoft R Server.  In the deep learning category are products like speech recognition which is part of Microsoft Cognitive Services and includes other products like face recognition and language translator.  Also available is the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (aka CNTK) which is a free, easy-to-use, open-source, commercial-grade toolkit that trains deep learning algorithms to learn like the human brain.

Be aware this is just one of the industry taxonomies, as others would group machine learning under advanced analytics, and deep learning under AI, with the idea that technically, deep learning is simply an improved convolutional neural network method as opposed to something beyond machine learning (as the hype train is driving).

More info:

What’s the Difference Between Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning?

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.
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2 Responses to Artificial Intelligence defined

  1. Nice one James! I’d agree these are bloody hard to define – and are often used interchangeably.
    In my view – not 100% sure I’d put Cognitive Services in deep learning though – realistically they are just API’s where Microsoft has done the Data Science (ie Machine Learning) for you already – and bundled it as a multi-tenanted publicly consumable API. So not flexible and not capable of training itself per se – however easy to use via REST calls.
    Also don’t forget the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (aka CNTK) which is really for Deep Learning!