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The Difference Between Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning

Posted by Lesa Moné on November 2, 2017


We’ve all heard of the possibilities of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning. There have been many situations where artificial intelligence has made a measurable impact on an organization, and there have also been situations where organizations have wasted millions of dollars on seemingly innovative technologies with no direct output.  

So what is the difference between machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence and how can they benefit your organization?

The three technologies tie together like a set of Russian Dolls – one nested within the next.


Deep learning is a subset of machine learning, which is a subset of AI.


What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

In short: AI is any computer program that does something smart.

In artificial intelligence, machines mimic cognitive functions that are associated with human minds, such as “learning” and “problem-solving”.

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What artificial intelligence can do:


Science & medicine









What is machine learning?

Machine learning is a subset of AI. That is, all machine learning counts as AI, but not all AI counts as machine learning.

Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence that provides systems with the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it to learn for themselves. The process of learning begins with observations of data, such as examples, direct experience, or instruction, in order to look for patterns in the data and make better decisions in the future based on the examples provided. The primary aim is to allow the computers to learn automatically without human intervention or assistance and adjust decisions accordingly.


What machine learning algorithms can do:

Machine learning algorithms affect and benefit your life in many undetectable ways. They currently identify and eliminate spam from your inbox, select images for social media posts, curate content to appear in your social media timelines, monitor your credit score and help to prevent fraud. At LeanIX, we assess the usage of our SaaS product and help customers to optimally benefit from our EA management solution. Amazon uses machine learning algorithms to show you trustworthy reviews, Paypal uses it for transactional fraud detection, hotels benefit from real-time customer-specific strategic pricing, and top marketing firms use machine learning algorithms to gauge customer sentiments.

In short, machine learning  optimization algorithms help your organization minimize error.


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What is deep learning?

Deep Learning is a subfield of machine learning concerned with algorithms inspired by the structure and function of the brain called artificial neural networks.


Deep learning can:

  • Colorize black and white images.
  • Add sound to silent movies.
  • Automatic machine translation.
  • Classify objects in photographs.
  • Generate automatic handwriting.
  • Generate image captions.


Want to find out more about machine learning and how to apply it to your organization? Download our white paper below.

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