CodeGym /Java Blog /Random /AI, ML, and DL: What These Weird Abbreviations Mean and W...
Lucy Oleschuk
Level 31

AI, ML, and DL: What These Weird Abbreviations Mean and What The Difference

Published in the Random group
In the era of technological evolution, terms like "Artificial Intelligence" (AI), "Machine Learning" (ML), and "Deep Learning" (DL) have become ubiquitous. These terms are often used interchangeably, which frequently leads to confusion about their differences. But what exactly do these terms mean, and how do they fit into our everyday lives? As a future developer, you need to grasp these technologies and know their differences. So, let's start digging. AI, ML, and DL: What These Weird Abbreviations Mean and What The Difference - 1

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Explained

Imagine a world where machines can think and make decisions just like humans. That's the essence of AI. This mechanism aims to incorporate human intelligence into machines through rules (algorithms). "Artificial" here stands for something made by humans, whereas "Intelligence" means the ability to understand or think accordingly. AI is the study of training your machine (computers) to mimic a human brain and its thinking capabilities". Simply put, AI aims to make machines intelligent and focuses on three major aspects: learning, reasoning, and self-correction to achieve maximum efficiency. A great example of AI is a voice assistant like Siri or Alexa. They can understand your voice commands, answer questions, and even tell jokes. They use AI to process and respond to your requests.

What can be described as AI?

  • Speech Recognition. AI-powered speech recognition systems use deep learning algorithms to classify images and spoken words, finding use in diverse spheres such as autonomous vehicles, security systems, and medical imaging.
  • Personalized Recommendations. E-commerce giants like Amazon and entertainment platforms like Netflix already harness AI algorithms' potential. By analyzing users' browsing and viewing histories, they offer tailored product and content recommendations, enhancing user engagement.
  • Predictive Maintenance. AI-driven predictive maintenance solutions analyze data from a plethora of sensors and sources. They predict equipment failures, minimizing downtime and reducing maintenance costs across various industries.
  • Medical Diagnosis. AI-driven medical diagnosis systems have revolutionized the healthcare industry. These systems analyze medical images and patient data and help medical professionals make precise diagnoses and formulate effective treatment strategies.
  • Autonomous Vehicles. Self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles employ AI algorithms and sensor technology to interpret the surroundings. Thus, vehicles can make instantaneous decisions regarding speed, direction, and other critical factors.
  • Virtual Personal Assistants (VPA). Modern VPAs like Siri or Alexa use natural language processing to comprehend and respond to user requests.
  • Fraud Detection. Financial institutions employ AI to analyze transactions rigorously. AI algorithms detect patterns of fraudulent activity, thus helping prevent fraud in the future.
  • Image Recognition. AI finds applications in photo organization, autonomous robots, and security systems to identify objects, individuals, and scenes within images.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP). AI-driven NLP empowers chatbots and language translation systems. These systems understand and generate human-like text. Chat GPT is the brightest example.
  • Predictive Analytics. AI analyzes extensive datasets to make informed predictions in different industries.
  • Game-Playing AI. AI algorithms have reached superhuman proficiency levels in chess, Go, and poker. By analyzing gameplay data, AI systems predict the likely outcomes of moves.

What is Machine Learning (ML)?

Now, let's dive a bit deeper. Machine Learning is a subset of AI. Instead of explicitly programming machines to perform tasks, people teach them how to learn from data. It's like teaching a computer to recognize patterns and make decisions based on them. At this point, we'd like to give you an understanding of "data mining." The data mining process results in deriving actionable information using mathematical analysis techniques and patterns inside the data. ML delivers a way to find a new algorithm from data-based experience, helping design a machine that can grasp specific data from the database to give valuable results without using code. The major aim of ML is to allow the systems to learn by themselves through experience without any kind of human intervention or assistance. A bright example of ML is your email spam filter. Instead of telling it exactly which emails are spam, you mark a few as spam, and then it learns from your choices. Over time, it becomes smarter at identifying spam emails on its own.

What can be described as ML?

  • Image Recognition. ML algorithms power image recognition systems, enabling the categorization of images based on the contents.
  • Speech Recognition. ML algorithms are the backbone of speech recognition systems, transcribing spoken words and identifying spoken language.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP systems leverage ML algorithms to comprehend and generate human language.
  • Recommendation Systems. ML algorithms drive recommendation systems, analyzing user data to provide tailored suggestions for products or services.
  • Sentiment Analysis. ML algorithms are deployed in sentiment analysis systems to classify the sentiment of text or speech as positive, negative, or neutral.
  • Predictive Maintenance. ML plays a critical role in predictive maintenance systems. It analyzes data from sensors and various sources to forecast equipment failures.
  • Spam Filters in Email. ML algorithms analyze email content and metadata, flagging messages likely to be spam.
  • Credit Risk Assessment. Financial institutions harness ML algorithms for credit risk assessment. The ML algorithms analyze applicant data, including income, employment history, and credit score to evaluate credit risk.
  • Customer Segmentation. Marketing benefits from ML algorithms that segment customers into distinct groups based on their characteristics and behavior. This segmentation allows for precise, targeted advertising and promotions.
  • Fraud Detection. In financial transactions, ML algorithms detect abnormal behavioral patterns such as unusual spending or transactions from unfamiliar locations.
  • Voice-Controlled Interfaces. ML algorithms enable speech recognition, converting spoken words into text.

How Would AI and ML Can Be Used Together?

Just suppose we are building a self-driving car and working on the problem of stopping at stop signs. To succeed, we'll need skills drawn from both fields. ML: The car needs to identify and recognize a stop sign using the cameras. For this, we need to generate a dataset of millions of photos with streetside objects and then train the algorithm to identify (predict) which photos include stop signs. AI: Once the car can recognize stop signs, the vehicle needs to define when there is a need to apply the brakes (not too early or too late). Also, it needs to take into account the varying road conditions. These are already the problems of control theory that only AI can handle.

Deep Learning (DL)

In brief, Deep Learning extends the overall use of AI. And if we compare AI with human intelligence, DL would act as the neurons inside a human brain. It uses deep neural networks and is more complex than ML. Deep Learning is like a special branch of Machine Learning. It's inspired by how our brains work, with interconnected "neurons" in layers. DL uses artificial neural networks with many layers to mimic human brain-like behavior and tackle complex tasks. DL algorithms basically focus on information processing patterns mechanisms to identify the patterns just like our human brain would. Compared to ML, DL works on larger data sets and, thus, differs in impact and scope. Deep learning is a subset of machine learning, which is essentially a neural network with three or more layers. Let's imagine our self-driving car. Deep Learning helps it understand its surroundings by processing tons of data from cameras, sensors, and maps. In other words, DP provides human-like expertise and teaches the car to identify pedestrians, other vehicles, and road signs.

What can be described as DL?

  • Image and Video Analysis. DL algorithms are widely used in image and video recognition systems to provide in-depth visual data analysis and classify them.
  • Generative Models. Also, they are used in generative models that create new content based on existing data.
  • Autonomous Vehicles. DL algorithms provide sensor data analysis to make crucial decisions about speed, direction, and other critical factors.
  • Image Classification. Deep learning excels in recognizing objects and scenes within images. This spans from identifying faces in photos to cataloging items in product images on e-commerce platforms.
  • Speech Recognition. DL algorithms are integral to speech recognition systems, converting spoken words into text.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP). DL algorithms drive various NLP tasks, including sentiment analysis, language translation, and text generation.
  • Recommender Systems. DL algorithms are used in recommender systems to offer personalized recommendations based on a user's behavior and preferences.
  • Fraud Detection. DL algorithms can also help detect fraudulent activity.
  • Game-Playing AI. DL algorithms can help you craft game-playing AI that can compete at superhuman levels. Notable examples include AlphaGo and Deep Blue.
  • Time Series Forecasting. DL algorithms are invaluable in forecasting future values within time series data. Applications span from predicting stock prices to anticipating energy consumption and weather patterns.

The Difference Between the Technologies and How Java is Related to All of Them

So, what's the difference between AI, ML, and DL? These three technologies are tied together, where DL is a subset of ML, which is a subset of AI. Simply put, AI is a "smart" way to create intelligent machines, ML is a part of AI that helps build AI-driven apps, and DL is again a part of ML that trains a model with complex algorithms and extensive data volumes. AI, ML, and DL: What These Weird Abbreviations Mean and What The Difference - 2What is notable, Java is related to AI, ML, and DL. It's used in such ways:
  • Java can be used to develop AI applications, particularly in natural language processing (NLP) and expert systems. Developers can use some libraries and frameworks in Java for text analysis and NLP tasks - Apache OpenNLP. Additionally, Java's versatility makes it suitable for building AI components within larger software systems.
  • Java has several libraries and frameworks that support ML as well. The Weka library, for example, is a popular tool for ML tasks like data preprocessing, classification, regression, clustering, and more. Weka provides a user-friendly interface for experimenting with various ML algorithms.
  • Though Java is not the primary choice for DL tasks, some Java libraries like Deeplearning4j (DL4J) provide deep learning capabilities. DL4J allows you to build and train neural networks using Java, making it possible to work with deep learning in the Java ecosystem.


For sure, AI, ML, and DL are all essential concepts in the tech industry, driving innovations across all other industries. Java is related to all these concepts and can be used for developing applications and systems in these fields. Java's adaptability and wide-ranging applications make it an invaluable asset for developers. So, whether you're aspiring to build intelligent systems, harness the potential of machine learning, or delve into the complexities of deep learning, Java plays a pivotal role in your journey. Start that journey with CodeGym today and embark on a path that empowers you to shape the future!