Data Science Vs Artificial Intelligence: Know Differences & More! – unischolars blog

Many wonder what exactly is Data Science vs Artificial Intelligence. These two terms are often used interchangeably but they’re not quite the same thing. Data Science is all about extracting insights and knowledge from data using various methods and tools. AI, on the other hand, is more about building intelligent systems that can perceive, learn, reason and act – kind of like creating a digital brain. While Data Science provides the fuel (data), AI is the engine that powers intelligent applications. Still, they’re closely related fields that often work hand-in-hand to drive innovation. Let’s learn all about data science vs artificial intelligence in this blog. 

Data Science Vs Artificial Intelligence: Basic Differences

Field Data Science Artificial Intelligence
Description Use of statistical and algorithmic modelling to obtain insights from data. Broad-spectrum term for machine-based applications that mimic human intelligence.
Best suited for Answering questions from data sets. Completing complex human tasks efficiently.
Methods Linear regression, logistic regression, anomaly detection, etc. Facial recognition, natural language processing, reinforcement learning, etc.
Scope Pre-defined questions answerable from data. Broad and task-based, difficult to define.
Implementation Uses various tools for data capture, cleaning, modelling, analysis, and reporting. Task-dependent relies on complex pre-built components.
Examples Customer churn prediction, stock price forecasting, medical diagnosis. Self-driving cars, virtual assistants, game-playing AI.
Benefits Improved decision-making, cost reduction, and increased efficiency. Automation, improved accuracy, and innovation in various fields.

Which Came First?

AI engineering builds upon the foundation laid by data science. It relies on the insights gleaned by data scientists through analytics to craft robust AI models and applications.

As articulated by Marr, the relationship can be described this way: “In essence, data science has paved the way for the rise of machine learning (ML) as a means to advance what we recognise as artificial intelligence (AI). This technological domain is swiftly reshaping our professional landscapes and everyday lives.”

Deeper Differences In Data Science Vs Artificial Intelligence

Data Science is all about playing detective with data – looking for patterns, trends and interesting insights hidden within those numbers and figures. Applied Data Science takes those investigative skills to the real world, using models and methods to analyse new data and make predictions. Like, “Based on past sales data, we think product X will sell like hotcakes next quarter!”

AI, on the other hand, is like building a digital brain that can think and reason like humans. It uses Data Science techniques as fuel but also brings in other complex algorithms to create intelligent systems that can perceive, learn and make decisions on their own. AI is the engine and Data Science provides the gasoline.

But Data Science isn’t just for AI and computers. It can be applied to all sorts of fields and industries to uncover valuable insights from data. 

Data Science Vs Artificial Intelligence: Goals

For Data Science, the goal is straightforward – apply existing statistical models and computational methods to data to identify patterns or points of interest that can lead to predictions. You know what you’re looking for from the get-go. Like using data to forecast sales numbers or predict when a machine needs maintenance.

AI’s goals are more open-ended. The aim is to use computers to produce outcomes that are indistinguishable from human intelligence and reasoning, even with complex, new data. You’re not always sure what you’ll get – could be creative writing, image generation from text prompts, or who knows what other mind-bending applications!

Data Science Vs Artificial Intelligence: Scope

Data Science has a tighter scope since the outcomes are pre-defined. It starts by pinpointing questions that can be answered from data, then it’s all about collecting and prepping that data, applying the right models/algorithms, and interpreting the results.

AI casts a much wider net. It begins by identifying intricate manual tasks or reasoning processes that humans excel at and then tries to replicate that using machine systems. The scope may involve exploratory data analysis, breaking down the task into algorithmic components, gathering test data to refine the system’s logic and complexity, and finally putting the system through its paces. 

Applications Of Data Science And Artificial Intelligence

Data science finds its place wherever there’s ample quality data and a model primed to tackle specific queries. Its uses span across various domains:

  • Predicting sales demand.
  • Detecting fraudulent activities.
  • Calculating odds in sports.
  • Assessing risks.
  • Forecasting energy consumption.
  • Optimising revenue streams.
  • Streamlining candidate screening processes.

The realm of AI offers a vast possibilities:

  • Automating production lines with robotics.
  • Enhancing customer service with chatbots.
  • Implementing biometric recognition systems.
  • Analysing medical images for diagnosis.
  • Conducting predictive maintenance in various industries.
  • Facilitating urban planning.
  • Personalising marketing strategies for better engagement.

For a data scientist, it’s all about getting down and dirty with the data itself. Their main focus is on the technical nitty-gritty – collecting and processing data, picking the right models to analyse it and interpreting the results to make recommendations. They might be working within specific software or systems, or even building new systems from the ground up.

Data Science Vs Artificial Intelligence: Types of Roles

Job roles in data science vs artificial intelligence are along the same lines. However, the below table should help you in understanding the professions you can take up:

Data Science Job Role Artificial Intelligence Job Role
Data Analyst Artificial intelligence engineer
Data Engineer Machine learning engineer
Data Architect Robotics engineer
Business Intelligence Data analyst
Machine Learning Computer vision engineer
Statistician Data scientist

Data Science Vs Artificial Intelligence: Salary

In terms of compensation, both professions are lucrative, yet AI engineers typically command higher salaries compared to data scientists.

These are salaries as of September 2023, according to PayScale:

  • The median annual salary for a data scientist is around $98,000, with seasoned professionals in this field earning an average of $137,000.
  • On the other hand, the median annual salary for an AI engineer stands at approximately $132,000, with experienced AI engineers earning an average of $159,000.

Data Science Vs Artificial Intelligence: Skillset

Data scientists apply statistical and algorithmic methods to qualify and analyse data to uncover relevant insights. They need a solid background in statistical math and computer science, plus proficiency in all the relevant tools of the trade.

For AI roles, the required skillset can vary a lot depending on the specific job. Some roles are super technical, while others focus more on soft skills. An AI software developer would need to know their way around programming languages, libraries, and dev tools. But an AI tester for a generative AI tool might need more linguistic skills, creative thinking and an understanding of how users should interact with the system.

Career Progression

As data science tools and workflows become more automated and productised, there are fewer pure data science roles out there. Data science pros looking to stay in that lane tend to gravitate towards academic and cutting-edge applications. But data analyst roles, where you own the operation of the tools, are still very relevant. Starting from a junior position, data scientists can move up to more senior roles, shift into people or project management, or even make it all the way to chief data officer.

For AI, career progression depends a lot on the specific role and its focus. You could end up as a chief technology officer, chief marketing officer, chief product officer – the possibilities are endless. Of course, it’s always a good idea to think critically about which jobs might get automated over the next decade, so you can future-proof your career direction. 

Top Cities Around The World Hiring Data Scientists & AI Engineers 

There’s a whole world of possibilities out there for data scientists and AI engineers! But with so many cities vying for your skills, where do you even begin? We’ve scoured the globe to bring you the hottest destinations to score your dream data science or AI gig in 2024.


This semi-southern charmer has been making waves as a Silicon Valley alternative for a while now. Great weather, low cost of living and a hub for tech giants like Lenovo and Cisco. The median age is 36 and average salary sits pretty at $52K but data science roles are raking in six-figure averages. Around 500 open positions are waiting for you!

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix has a toasty weather and reasonable living costs. Data scientists can expect to pocket around $140K on average, while the overall median salary is just under $50K. Combine that with affordable housing and high living standards, and your money goes a long way. Bonus perk? All those tourists help you save around $1K on taxes annually!

Atlanta, Georgia

The biggest centre for Fortune 500 companies in the southeast, Atlanta has an affordable standard of living alongside a thriving entertainment scene (maybe you’ll spot a celeb between coding sessions!). From music to shopping to tech, this city has it all.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is Europe’s newest cloud capital. It has data centres for tech titans like Google, Amazon and Facebook. Lead Data Scientists can expect to earn around $100K on average – triple the national average! Plus, you get a buzzing nightlife and the perfect home base for European adventures.

Boston, Massachusetts

Sure, Boston has a higher cost of living but you get to rub shoulders with some of the world’s brightest minds at MIT and Harvard. Not to mention, an average total compensation of $141K and nearly 2,500 open job postings to choose from.

London, UK

London is known for AI and FinTech, it is where the magic happens. The UK government has a whopping $1 billion deal with over 50 tech companies investing in AI here. It hosts major conferences like the Deep Learning Summit and ODSC’s European event. The average salary of $57K might not go as far, but you get access to some of the biggest data science projects on the planet and over 2,000 job openings.


This smart city ranks #6 worldwide and is going all-in on autonomous vehicles, AI and leading govt IT spending in Southeast Asia. The $52K average salary lets you experience the best this Asian tech hub has to offer.

Toronto, Canada

Toronto has a thriving data science scene in FinTech and banking. The Royal Bank of Canada has an innovation lab here focusing on AI and big data. While the average salary is around $59K, you get a vibrant, culturally-rich city with nearly 4,000 job listings to explore.

Paris, France

The French capital has a lower cost of living than some European counterparts. You can work at major organisations like IBM, Amazon, Facebook, Samsung and DeepMind to open AI labs. The historic charm, incredible art/food scene and $55K average salary are nice perks as French govt IT spending could boost opportunities.

Palo Alto, California

We can’t leave out the OG tech capital! Sure, it’s one of the priciest cities in the US, but it’s also THE place to be for data science pioneers. Get a job here and you’re at the forefront, with salaries close to $150K and nearly 4,000 open positions.

Kyiv, Ukraine

An up-and-comer with buzzing data science meetups and a renewed drive to be the AI research/innovation capital. Kyiv hosts 7 major data science providers working globally, but with amazing European living at a fraction of London/Paris costs.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is Europe’s hottest startup spot. It has new ventures launching every 20 minutes by some estimates! A robust economy, reputation as the EU’s stable partner, and a 43% lower cost of living than London make it an incredibly alluring option.

Does AI Need Data Science?

Often, yes. Before an AI system dives into learning from data, it’s common for a human expert or data analysis programme to study and prepare the data first. Data scientists frequently clean up the data, extract the most important elements and feed these curated subsets to the AI for more focused learning. This intervention can really help AI models learn more effectively by allowing them to concentrate on the most relevant data.

However, these days, the advanced AI systems are capable of sifting through massive data volumes with minimal to no pre-processing required. There’s also automated software that can handle cleaning and pre-processing data for AI consumption. As such, some advanced AI doesn’t necessarily need the traditional data science treatment.

Does Data Science Need AI?

Sometimes. Data science techniques can be leveraged independently to gain understanding, uncover insights and communicate findings from data analysis. For instance, if you’re analysing rainfall data to determine if average rainfall is trending up or down over time, you can use statistical methods for this – no advanced AI required. However, AI can absolutely be used to discover insights buried within data that might not be visible through basic data science alone. This is especially valuable for rich data types like video, or when dealing with truly massive data volumes.


What is better data science vs artificial intelligence?

For data-driven decision making, go with data science. If you need systems that can learn and behave like humans, artificial intelligence – especially deep learning – is the way to go.

What are data science vs artificial intelligence salaries?

Data scientists and AI engineers command sky-high salaries. These highly sought-after roles are always in demand, with recruiters eagerly seeking skilled and experienced candidates.

Can data science replace AI?

AI will enhance data analysts’ skills, not replace them. The best results come from human analysts and AI technology working collaboratively.

Why do we need to keep our databases up to date?

Databases can become outdated, inaccurate or corrupted over time, impacting performance, security and reliability. Keeping databases up-to-date and consistent with the latest information and requirements is crucial.

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