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Statistics, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

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21 May 2014


What is the difference between data mining, statistics, machine learning and AI?

Statistics is just about the numbers, and quantifying the data. There are many tools for finding relevant properties of the data but this is pretty close to pure mathematics.

Data Mining is about using Statistics as well as other programming methods to find patterns hidden in the data so that you can explain some phenomenon. Data Mining builds intuition about what is really happening in some data and is still little more towards math than programming, but uses both.

Machine Learning uses Data Mining techniques and other learning algorithms to build models of what is happening behind some data so that it can predict future outcomes. Math is the basis for many of the algorithms, but this is more towards programming.

Artificial Intelligence uses models built by Machine Learning and other ways to reason about the world and give rise to intelligent behavior whether this is playing a game or driving a robot/car. Artificial Intelligence has some goal to achieve by predicting how actions will affect the model of the world and chooses the actions that will best achieve that goal. Very programming based.

In short

  • Statistics quantifies numbers
  • Data Mining explains patterns
  • Machine Learning predicts with models
  • Artificial Intelligence behaves and reasons

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