Thanks to the likes of Google, Amazon, and Facebook, the terms artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have become much more widespread than ever before. They are often used interchangeably and promise all sorts from smarter home appliances to robots taking our jobs.
The UK has a new AI centre – so when robots kill, we know who to blame The UK has a new AI centre – so when robots kill, we know who to blameArtificial Intelligence 12 Oct 2016.
But while AI and machine learning are very much related, they are not quite the same thing. AI is a branch of computer science attempting to build machines capable of intelligent behaviour, while Stanford University defines machine learning as “the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed”. You need AI researchers to build the smart machines, but you need machine learning experts to make them truly intelligent.
DOTCOM mania was slow in coming to higher education, but now it has the venerable industry firmly in its grip. Since the launch early last year of Udacity and Coursera, two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete. Meanwhile, the MOOCs have multiplied in number, resources and student recruitment—without yet having figured out a business model of their own.