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A person considering a degree in computer science or a related specialty of information technology may wonder, “Does data science include machine learning?” The answer to this is yes, because machine learning, or artificial intelligence, is a sub-type of data science. Knowing more about machine learning could help a person decide if a career in computer and data science is the right choice for their skills and preferences.

Related resource: 20 BEST DATA SCIENCE BACHELOR’S DEGREE PROGRAMS

What Data Science Is

Data science is a process of testing, evaluating and experimenting with analytical techniques. It follows the long-established practices of the scientific method. A person who works as a data scientist is attempting to devise new algorithms or ways of understanding information. When applied to computers, the amount of information that can be analyzed or put into an algorithm is much higher than what could be done with a human brain. Companies rely on data science to handle all of the information that they collect from customer interactions.

How Artificial Intelligence Fits Into Data Science

Artificial intelligence refers to computers that have a set of instructions allowing them to reason, make classifications and perform decision-making activities. In the past, all of these had to be done by a human. Although artificial intelligence sounds like a relatively new concept, it has actually been in use since the 1950s. Some common uses of artificial intelligence include image recognition and classification. For example, a person who takes a digital photo of an unusual insect and does a Google search of the image in order to find out the type of insect is making use of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence can be conducted in several ways, including machine learning.

Machine Learning As a Method of Artificial Intelligence

Machine learning is one method of artificial intelligence, explains CIO. In machine learning, the computer is given a set of algorithms and statistical models. It uses them to perform a task without any specific instructions. With the algorithms and statistical models, the computer is able to use patterns and inference to come up with a solution to a problem or question. Machine learning is usually initiated with a set of sample data.

Applications of Machine Learning

There are many applications of machine learning in everyday life. One application is email filtering. For people who use Gmail, their email is filtered by Google, which uses algorithms and statistical models in order to determine which emails are spam. Search engines use machine learning when determining which results are relevant to the words entered by a site user. Another application for machine learning is speech recognition and natural language processing. Anyone who does a voice search on their smartphone is making use of this application of machine learning. Credit card fraud detection, online advertising, and internet fraud detection also use machine learning.

Data science is a rapidly growing field, and earning a degree in it with a specialty in machine learning could prove to be a lucrative career for a talented person who is willing to keep learning and stay up-to-date with technology. Machine learning will grow in importance as corporations and governments seek to automate the analysis and collection of data from multiple streams. Knowing the answer to, “Does data science include machine learning?” is an essential part of deciding which career path to follow upon graduation.


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