Blog School of AI Data Science vs Artificial Intelligence: What’s the Difference?

Data Science vs Artificial Intelligence: What’s the Difference?

Self-driving cars, flying drones, robotic rovers, game-playing robots, and humanized electronic personal assistants. Once, these technologies only existed in dreams. Now, they exist as technologies of today.

Technology fields like data science and artificial intelligence (AI) are interwoven with your life. Careers in data science and artificial intelligence can offer interesting, well-paying work.

Learn more about the fascinating fields of data science and artificial intelligence.

Data Science Overview

Data science — an in-demand, future-proof field — is an interdisciplinary specialty consisting of computer science, mathematics, statistics, and information processing.

Data science is interwoven with many other fields like biology, artificial intelligence, computer science, healthcare, economics, ecological engineering, and linguistics.

What Do Data Scientists Do?

Data scientists use computers, algorithms, and systematic work processes to collect, clean, organize and analyze data in useful ways. They explore data to find patterns, extract actionable insights, and answer important questions.

As a data scientist, you can work with qualitative or quantitative data on nearly any subject such as:

  • Astronomical solar system surveys (e.g. tracking near-Earth objects)
  • Ecosystem monitoring (e.g. analyzing animal and plant surveys)
  • Epidemiological disease tracking (e.g. tracking coronavirus, malaria, or flu)
  • Artificial intelligence (e.g. developing datasets for machine learning or computer vision)
  • Environmental sustainability (e.g. managing greenhouse gases and environmental pollutants)

A typical day working in data science can entail:

  • Collecting, transforming, and analyzing large amounts and/or unique types of data
  • Performing statistical analysis of data
  • Generating visualizations and models from data
  • Composing reports about insights drawn from data
  • Solving business-related questions or problems with data
  • Communicating with fellow professionals about data

Which Skills and Tools Do Data Scientists Use?

Data scientists use knowledge, skills, and analytical techniques from many subjects including:

  • Applied mathematics: math with application to different disciplines (e.g. physics, engineering, biology)
  • Statistics: math focused on collection, analysis, interpretation, and representation of data
  • Information visualization: the study and design of visual representations of knowledge (often interactive) to aid human conceptual understanding
  • Analytics: systematic logical analysis of data and/or statistics
  • Computer programming: the process of designing and building computer programs to achieve specific tasks
  • Communications: techniques and technologies for transmitting information

Data scientists use many computer languages, tools, and platforms to process data such as:

Computer Programming Languages

Data Visualization Tools

Computing Platforms

Artificial Intelligence Overview

Artificial intelligence describes a discipline focused on computing to mimic human behaviors and complete human tasks. Artificially intelligent technologies use massive amounts of data (prepared by data scientists), as well as learning methods like machine learning and deep learning. They also use computer learning models (e.g. neural networks) and high-capacity computing platforms (e.g. cloud computing).

Like data science, artificial intelligence supports and synergizes with other fields including medicine, autonomous vehicle engineering, virtual reality, robotics, linguistics, and bioinformatics.

What Do Artificial Intelligence Specialists Do?

Artificial intelligence specialists conduct varied projects across focal areas of AI. You can pursue machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, autonomous driving, deep learning, healthcare, or robotics while working in AI.

You can specialize in different kinds of technologies including:

A typical day working in artificial intelligence can entail:

  • Designing and developing computer algorithms, data structures, learning models, and devices
  • Programming computers using different programming languages
  • Testing learning models and software architectures
  • Reviewing algorithms, machine functions, learning models, and AI devices
  • Composing technical documentation explaining your work
  • Communicating technical concepts with fellow professionals

Which Skills and Tools Do Artificial Intelligence Specialists Use?

AI specialists and data scientists use overlapping skillsets. Artificial intelligence specialists require strong proficiencies in software engineering and computer science. AI specialists work with:

  • Software engineering: a form of engineering dedicated to software development, operation, and documentation
  • Computer science: computing that includes computer design, software development, and information processing
  • Probability: a branch of mathematics focused on describing the likelihood of an event or truthfulness of a proposition
  • Machine learning and deep learning: Machine learning refers to the design, implementation, and operation of artificially intelligent computers with algorithms that learn and improve on their own. Deep learning is an expansion of machine learning.
  • Data structures and algorithms: Data structures are computer science formats for storing, organizing, and managing data that enable users to access and modify the data. Algorithms are well-defined computer instructions for performing computations or solving problems.

AI specialists and data scientists use many of the same popular computer programming languages (see list above).

Artificial intelligence specialists also use computing platforms such as:

Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in Action

Data scientists and artificial intelligence specialists benefit each other through the creation and use of models, datasets, algorithms, and tech products for computing and information analysis. People and machines can process and understand ever-greater amounts of data.

Together, data scientists and AI specialists help people across industries including business managers, financial analysts, and product manufacturers (e.g. automobile or computer manufacturers).

AlphaGo, AlphaZero, MuZero, and AlphaStar are AI computers that learned how to play complex games like chess, shogi, Go, Atari, and Starcraft II using deep learning.

Self-driving cars generate and process data and AI algorithms via complex sensor systems to safely navigate.

Technologists train AI computers with big data, machine learning, and deep learning algorithms. Massive datasets and AI algorithms enable automated facial recognition, disease diagnosis, and natural language processing.

Understand Data Science and Artificial Intelligence With Udacity

Data science and artificial intelligence consist of interesting skills, compelling projects, and attractive work. Online learning platforms like Udacity offer opportunities for you to develop industry-relevant skills in data science and AI such as:

Learn more by registering for one of Udacity’s many interesting Nanodegree programs today!

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