We explain the differences between artificial intelligence and machine learning and how it could benefit your operations

With the world turning more and more to industrial automation strategies, it’s no surprise that two types of technology are making huge waves in the industry. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have captured the attention of businesses and technology experts alike. But, while AI and ML are closely related, there are some important differences that should be considered before making decisions about which technology to employ.

In this article, we explore the differences between AI and ML and how they can benefit your automation processes. We will explore the history of each technology and why they are used in different ways and provide insights on the different applications of AI and ML in the world today.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence refers to the broader field of creating intelligent machines that can mimic human intelligence and perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. AI encompasses various techniques, methodologies, and approaches to develop systems that can perceive, reason, learn, and make decisions.

The history of AI begins in the mid-1950s, when a few visionaries first began to consider the possibility of building machines that could think. Early pioneers in AI research made significant advances in the fields of programming, rules-based systems, problem solving, machine learning, robotics, natural language processing, and knowledge representation. The 1970s and 1980s saw the development of expert systems and the increased use of AI technology in commercial and industrial applications. In the 1990s and 2000s, AI technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing took on a more prominent role and became a standalone technology.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a subset of AI that focuses on algorithms and models that enable computers to learn from and make predictions or decisions based on data, without being explicitly programmed. ML algorithms allow systems to automatically improve their performance over time by learning from patterns and examples in the data they are exposed to.

The history of machine learning in industrial applications stretches back to the 1950s, when the first attempts were made to apply the technology to the automation of industrial processes. Machine learning has since been used for a variety of tasks, including vision and pattern recognition, anomaly detection, predictive maintenance, and computer simulations.

In recent years, machine learning has been used to automate many industrial processes such as robotics, manufacturing, logistics, and supply chain management. Machine learning has also been applied to production systems and is expected to become increasingly important in the future.

What are the Differences and Similarities?

To summarize it simply, machine learning is a form of AI, but not all AI is machine learning. Machine learning is a specific approach within the larger field of AI. Artificial intelligence is a broad term that encompasses any system that can exhibit intelligent behavior. This includes systems that can learn, reason, and make decisions. ML is a subset of AI that focuses on systems that can learn from data. ML systems are trained on large datasets of labeled data, and they can then use this data to make predictions or decisions.

AI is the broader field that encompasses the development of intelligent systems, while machine learning is a subset of AI that focuses on algorithms that allow systems to learn from data and improve their performance without explicit programming.

ML systems are typically more data-driven than AI systems. ML systems require large datasets of labeled data to train models, while AI systems can sometimes be trained on smaller datasets or even on no data at all. ML systems are also typically more specialized than AI systems. ML systems are typically designed to solve a specific problem, while AI systems are typically designed to be more general-purpose. Machine learning is a key component of many AI applications, but AI extends beyond just machine learning.

However, there are some similarities between the two. Both AI and ML are concerned with creating systems that can exhibit intelligent behavior. With this, both use data to train systems to solve a wide range of problems, including classification, regression, and forecasting.

The Use of AI and ML in IIoT

AI and ML are being used in a wide variety of ways in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Some of the most common applications include:

  • Predictive maintenance: AI and ML can be used to predict when equipment is likely to fail. This can help to prevent unplanned downtime and costly repairs.
  • Quality control: AI and ML can be used to inspect products for defects. This can help to improve product quality and reduce the number of defective products that are shipped to customers.
  • Energy efficiency: AI and ML can be used to optimize energy usage in industrial facilities. This can help to reduce energy costs and improve sustainability.
  • Safety: AI and ML can be used to detect and prevent accidents in industrial settings. This can help to improve worker safety and reduce the risk of injuries.

How does AI Benefit IIoT?

AI has had a major impact on IIoT by enhancing automation and allowing companies to better manage manufacturing operations, assets, and resources. Predictive analytics, for example, are used to anticipate machine and system faults allowing for preventative maintenance. In addition, AI-powered analytics can help uncover patterns and insights from large datasets to enable better decisions and insights.

AI has also enabled more efficient operations by improving process efficiency and accuracy. For example, AI-based machine vision systems can automate parts identification and inspection allowing for higher accuracy and improved safety. Additionally, AI-driven automation reduces the need for manual tasks thus reducing the risk of human error.

Overall, AI is playing a pivotal role in the growth and development of the IIoT, allowing organizations to gain deeper insights from data and improve operational performance.

Want to learn more about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in industrial applications? Contact a SICK representative today!