Machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence are common terms in modern technology. These terms are often used interchangeably but incorrectly, which is understandable.

After all, hundreds of millions of people use the advantages of digital technologies. Yet only a small percentage of those users are experts in the field.

AI, data science, and machine learning represent valuable assets that can be used to great advantage in various industries. However, to use these tools properly, you need to understand what they are. Furthermore, knowing the difference between data science and machine learning, as well as how AI differs from both, can dispel the common misconceptions about these technologies.

Read on to gain a better understanding of the three crucial tech concepts.

Data Science

Data science can be viewed as the foundation of many modern technological solutions. It’s also the stage from which existing solutions can progress and evolve. Let’s define data science in more detail.

Definition and Explanation of Data Science

A scientific discipline with practical applications, data science represents a field of study dedicated to the development of data systems. If this definition sounds too broad, that’s because data science is a broad field by its nature.

Data structure is the primary concern of data science. To produce clean data and conduct analysis, scientists use a range of methods and tools, from manual to automated solutions.

Data science has another crucial task: defining problems that previously didn’t exist or slipped by unnoticed. Through this activity, data scientists can help predict unforeseen issues, improve existing digital tools, and promote the development of new ones.

Key Components of Data Science

Breaking down data science into key components, we get to three essential factors:

  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Predictive modeling

Data collection is pretty much what it sounds like – gathering of data. This aspect of data science also includes preprocessing, which is essentially preparation of raw data for further processing.

During data analysis, data scientists draw conclusions based on the gathered data. They search the data for patterns and potential flaws. The scientists do this to determine weak points and system deficiencies. In data visualization, scientists aim to communicate the conclusions of their investigation through graphics, charts, bullet points, and maps.

Finally, predictive modeling represents one of the ultimate uses of the analyzed data. Here, create models that can help them predict future trends. This component also illustrates the differentiation between data science vs. machine learning. Machine learning is often used in predictive modeling as a tool within the broader field of data science.

Applications and Use Cases of Data Science

Data science finds uses in marketing, banking, finance, logistics, HR, and trading, to name a few. Financial institutions and businesses take advantage of data science to assess and manage risks. The powerful assistance of data science often helps these organizations gain the upper hand in the market.

In marketing, data science can provide valuable information about customers, help marketing departments organize, and launch effective targeted campaigns. When it comes to human resources, extensive data gathering, and analysis allow HR departments to single out the best available talent and create accurate employee performance projections.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The term “artificial intelligence” has been somewhat warped by popular culture. Despite the varying interpretations, AI is a concrete technology with a clear definition and purpose, as well as numerous applications.

Definition and Explanation of AI

Artificial intelligence is sometimes called machine intelligence. In its essence, AI represents a machine simulation of human learning and decision-making processes.

AI gives machines the function of empirical learning, i.e., using experiences and observations to gain new knowledge. However, machines can’t acquire new experiences independently. They need to be fed relevant data for the AI process to work.

Furthermore, AI must be able to self-correct so that it can act as an active participant in improving its abilities.

Obviously, AI represents a rather complex technology. We’ll explain its key components in the following section.

Key Components of AI

A branch of computer science, AI includes several components that are either subsets of one another or work in tandem. These are machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP), computer vision, and robotics.

It’s no coincidence that machine learning popped up at the top spot here. It’s a crucial aspect of AI that does precisely what the name says: enables machines to learn.

We’ll discuss machine learning in a separate section.

Deep learning relates to machine learning. Its aim is essentially to simulate the human brain. To that end, the technology utilizes neural networks alongside complex algorithm structures that allow the machine to make independent decisions.

Natural language processing (NLP) allows machines to comprehend language similarly to humans. Language processing and understanding are the primary tasks of this AI branch.

Somewhat similar to NLP, computer vision allows machines to process visual input and extract useful data from it. And just as NLP enables a computer to understand language, computer vision facilitates a meaningful interpretation of visual information.

Finally, robotics are AI-controlled machines that can replace humans in dangerous or extremely complex tasks. As a branch of AI, robotics differs from robotic engineering, which focuses on the mechanical aspects of building machines.

Applications and Use Cases of AI

The variety of AI components makes the technology suitable for a wide range of applications. Machine and deep learning are extremely useful in data gathering. NLP has seen a massive uptick in popularity lately, especially with tools like ChatGPT and similar chatbots. And robotics has been around for decades, finding use in various industries and services, in addition to military and space applications.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is an AI branch that’s frequently used in data science. Defining what this aspect of AI does will largely clarify its relationship to data science and artificial intelligence.

Definition and Explanation of Machine Learning

Machine learning utilizes advanced algorithms to detect data patterns and interpret their meaning. The most important facets of machine learning include handling various data types, scalability, and high-level automation.

Like AI in general, machine learning also has a level of complexity to it, consisting of several key components.

Key Components of Machine Learning

The main aspects of machine learning are supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning.

Supervised learning trains algorithms for data classification using labeled datasets. Simply put, the data is first labeled and then fed into the machine.

Unsupervised learning relies on algorithms that can make sense of unlabeled datasets. In other words, external intervention isn’t necessary here – the machine can analyze data patterns on its own.

Finally, reinforcement learning is the level of machine learning where the AI can learn to respond to input in an optimal way. The machine learns correct behavior through observation and environmental interactions without human assistance.

Applications and Use Cases of Machine Learning

As mentioned, machine learning is particularly useful in data science. The technology makes processing large volumes of data much easier while producing more accurate results. Supervised and particularly unsupervised learning are especially helpful here.

Reinforcement learning is most efficient in uncertain or unpredictable environments. It finds use in robotics, autonomous driving, and all situations where it’s impossible to pre-program machines with sufficient accuracy.

Perhaps most famously, reinforcement learning is behind AlphaGo, an AI program developed for the Go board game. The game is notorious for its complexity, having about 250 possible moves on each of 150 turns, which is how long a typical game lasts.

Alpha Go managed to defeat the human Go champion by getting better at the game through numerous previous matches.

Key Differences Between Data Science, AI, and Machine Learning

The differences between machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence are evident in the scope, objectives, techniques, required skill sets, and application.

As a subset of AI and a frequent tool in data science, machine learning has a more closely defined scope. It’s structured differently to data science and artificial intelligence, both massive fields of study with far-reaching objectives.

The objectives of data science are pto gather and analyze data. Machine learning and AI can take that data and utilize it for problem-solving, decision-making, and to simulate the most complex traits of the human brain.

Machine learning has the ultimate goal of achieving high accuracy in pattern comprehension. On the other hand, the main task of AI in general is to ensure success, particularly in emulating specific facets of human behavior.

All three require specific skill sets. In the case of data science vs. machine learning, the sets don’t match. The former requires knowledge of SQL, ETL, and domains, while the latter calls for Python, math, and data-wrangling expertise.

Naturally, machine learning will have overlapping skill sets with AI, since it’s its subset.

Finally, in the application field, data science produces valuable data-driven insights, AI is largely used in virtual assistants, while machine learning powers search engine algorithms.

How Data Science, AI, and Machine Learning Complement Each Other

Data science helps AI and machine learning by providing accurate, valuable data. Machine learning is critical in processing data and functions as a primary component of AI. And artificial intelligence provides novel solutions on all fronts, allowing for more efficient automation and optimal processes.

Through the interaction of data science, AI, and machine learning, all three branches can develop further, bringing improvement to all related industries.

Understanding the Technology of the Future

Understanding the differences and common uses of data science, AI, and machine learning is essential for professionals in the field. However, it can also be valuable for businesses looking to leverage modern and future technologies.

As all three facets of modern tech develop, it will be important to keep an eye on emerging trends and watch for future developments.

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Il Sole 24 Ore: 100 thousand IT professionals missing
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 14, 2024 6 min read

Written on April 24th 2024

Source here: Il Sole 24 Ore (full article in Italian)

Open Institute of Technology: 100 thousand IT professionals missing

Eurostat data processed and disseminated by OPIT. Stem disciplines: the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%

Today, only 29% of young Italians between 25 and 34 have a degree. Not only that: compared to other European countries, the comparison is unequal given that the average in the Old Continent is 46%, bringing Italy to the penultimate place in this ranking, ahead only of Romania. The gap is evident even if the comparison is limited to STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) where the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%, with peaks of virtuosity which in the case of France that reaches 29.2%. Added to this is the continuing problem of the mismatch between job supply and demand, so much so that 62.8% of companies struggle to find professionals in the technological and IT fields.

The data

The Eurostat data was processed and disseminated by OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. an academic institution accredited at European level, active in the university level education market with online Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the technological and digital fields. We are therefore witnessing a phenomenon with worrying implications on the future of the job market in Italy and on the potential loss of competitiveness of our companies at a global level, especially if inserted in a context in which the macroeconomic scenario in the coming years will undergo a profound discontinuity linked to the arrival of “exponential” technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics, but also to the growing threats related to cybersecurity.

Requirements and updates

According to European House Ambrosetti, over 2,000,000 professionals will have to update their skills in the Digital and IT area by 2026, also to take advantage of the current 100,000 vacant IT positions, as estimated by Frank Recruitment Group. But not only that: the Italian context, which is unfavorable for providing the job market with graduates and skills, also has its roots in the chronic birth rate that characterizes our country: according to ISTAT data, in recent years the number of newborns has fallen by 28%, bringing Italy’s birth rate to 1.24, among the lowest in Europe, where the average is 1.46.

Profumo: “Structural deficiency”

“The chronic problem of the absence of IT professionals is structural and of a dual nature: on one hand the number of newborns – therefore, potential “professionals of the future” – is constantly decreasing; on the other hand, the percentage of young people who acquires degrees are firmly among the lowest in Europe”, declared Francesco Profumo, former Minister of Education and rector of OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. “The reasons are varied: from the cost of education (especially if undertaken off-site), to a university offering that is poorly aligned with changes in society, to a lack of awareness and orientation towards STEM subjects, which guarantee the highest employment rates. Change necessarily involves strong investments in the university system (and, in general, in the education system) at the level of the country, starting from the awareness that a functioning education system is the main driver of growth and development in the medium to long term. It is a debated and discussed topic on which, however, a clear and ambitious position is never taken.”

Stagnant context and educational offer

In this stagnant context, the educational offer that comes from online universities increasingly meets the needs of flexibility, quality and cost of recently graduated students, university students looking for specialization and workers interested in updating themselves with innovative skills. According to data from the Ministry of University and Research, enrollments in accredited online universities in Italy have grown by over 141 thousand units in ten years (since 2011), equal to 293.9%. Added to these are the academic institutions accredited at European level, such as OPIT, whose educational offering is overall capable of opening the doors to hundreds of thousands of students, with affordable costs and extremely innovative and updated degree paths.

Analyzing the figures

An analysis of Eurostat statistics relating to the year 2021 highlights that 27% of Europeans aged between 16 and 74 have attended an entirely digital course. The highest share is recorded in Ireland (46%), Finland and Sweden (45%) and the Netherlands (44%). The lowest in Romania (10%), Bulgaria (12%) and Croatia (18%). Italy is at 20%. “With OPIT” – adds Riccardo Ocleppo, founder and director – “we have created a new model of online academic institution, oriented towards new technologies, with innovative programs, a strong practical focus, and an international approach, with professors and students from 38 countries around the world, and teaching in English. We intend to train Italian students not only on current and updated skills, but to prepare them for an increasingly dynamic and global job market. Our young people must be able to face the challenges of the future like those who study at Stanford or Oxford: with solid skills, but also with relational and attitudinal skills that lead them to create global companies and startups or work in multinationals like their international colleagues. The increasing online teaching offer, if well structured and with quality, represents an incredible form of democratization of education, making it accessible at low costs and with methods that adapt to the flexibility needs of many working students.”

Point of reference

With two degrees already starting in September 2023 – a three-year degree (BSc) in Modern Computer Science and a specialization (MSc) in Applied Data Science & AI – and 4 starting in September 2024: a three-year degree (BSc) in Digital Business, and the specializations (MSc) in Enterprise Cybersecurity, Applied Digital Business and Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI), OPIT is an academic institution of reference for those who intend to respond to the demands of a job market increasingly oriented towards the field of artificial intelligence. Added to this are a high-profile international teaching staff and an exclusively online educational offer focused on the technological and digital fields.

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Times of India: The 600,000 IT job shortage in India and how to solve it
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 2, 2024 3 min read

Written on April 25th 2024

Source here: Times of India 

The job market has never been a straightforward path. Ask anyone who has ever looked for a job, certainly within the last decade, and they can tell you as much. But with the rapid development of AI and machine learning, concerns are growing for people about their career options, with a report from Randstad finding that 7 in 10 people in India are concerned about their job being eliminated by AI.

 Employers have their own share of concerns. According to The World Economic Forum, 97 million new AI-related jobs will be created by 2025 and the share of jobs requiring AI skills will increase by 58%. The IT industry in India is experiencing a tremendous surge in demand for skilled professionals on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, cybersecurity and, according to Nasscom, this is leading to a shortage of 600,000 profiles.

 So how do we fill those gaps? Can we democratize access to top-tier higher education in technology?

These are the questions that Riccardo Ocleppo, the engineer who founded a hugely successful ed-tech platform connecting international students with global Universities, Docsity, asked himself for years. Until he took action and launched the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), together with the Former Minister of Education of Italy, Prof. Francesco Profumo, to help people take control of their future careers.

OPIT offers BSc and MSc degrees in Computer Science, AI, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Digital Business, attracting students from over 38 countries worldwide. Through innovative learning experiences and affordable tuition fees starting at €4,050 per year, OPIT empowers students to pursue their educational goals without the financial and personal burden of relocating.

The curriculum, delivered through a mix of live and pre-recorded lectures, equips students with the latest technology skills, as well as business and strategic acumen necessary for careers in their chosen fields. Moreover, OPIT’s EU-accredited degrees enable graduates to pursue employment opportunities in Europe, with recognition by WES facilitating transferability to the US and Canada.

OPIT’s commitment to student success extends beyond academics, with a full-fledged career services department led by Mike McCulloch. Remote students benefit from OPIT’s “digital campus,” fostering connections through vibrant discussion forums, online events, and networking opportunities with leading experts and professors.

Faculty at OPIT, hailing from prestigious institutions and industry giants like Amazon and Microsoft, bring a wealth of academic and practical experience to the table. With a hands-on, practical teaching approach, OPIT prepares students for the dynamic challenges of the modern job market.

In conclusion, OPIT stands as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking to future-proof their careers in technology. By democratizing access to high-quality education and fostering a global learning community, OPIT empowers students to seize control of their futures and thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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