We are living in the golden age of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Three driverless vehicle companies (Google, Uber, and GM) circle the Citrix Octoblu Tempe offices on a daily basis. Cognitive AI systems like IBM Watson are working to understand all forms of data, interact naturally with people, and learn and reason at scale. Intel’s Movidius compute stick is capturing our imaginations with low power computer vision and object recognition. Google is investing heavily in the open source TensorFlow machine learning project and a computer farm of TPUs (tensor processing units) to run TensorFlow algorithms at scale. Google also recently acquired our friends at API.ai, a natural language conversation engine with search capabilities.

What is machine learning?

Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed..

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

What is the difference?

Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence. More precisely, ML is the learning part of AI.  Here’s how it works. Let’s say we want to train a computer to evaluate colors using RGB (red, green, blue) values to identify if future color combinations are mostly black or white. You could train the system by teaching it that certain color values equal black or white. In this instance, you can see that the computer determined { r: 1, g: 0.4, b: 0 } to have a high probability of being white based on the training data. Best results are typically achieved by more training data.  


Citrix Octoblu integrated Azure Machine Learning services into our platform over a year ago. Here’s a more detailed blog post to go along with this video demonstrating an example of a restaurant recommendation engine based on customer preferences.

As we teach machines how to learn, we can start giving them problems to solve. Artificial Intelligence comes into play as we teach machines to mimic human decision making processes and carrying out tasks in ever more human ways. There are two types of AI (Generalized AI and Applied AI). Generalized AI is more informational. Applied AI is more actionable. For instance, systems designed to intelligently trade stocks and shares, or drive an autonomous vehicle would fall into the category of Applied AI.

Citrix has embarked on an amazing journey into ML and AI with our Citrix Cloud Analytics platform. Data from NetScaler MAS, Octoblu IoT , and many other Citrix systems are now streaming live data into Citrix Analytics. This data can now be used to combat insider security threats and detect anomalous or malicious user behavior with the new security analytics service from Citrix. Citrix Analytics provides actionable insights that only Citrix can provide into: user access behavior, network usage behavior, and user application and data usage behavior.

Using Octoblu’s automation capabilities and Internet of Things (IoT) messaging features, we will soon be able to apply this AI to actionable or reaction-able business processes. Actions could be as simple as disabling user accounts or blocking IP addresses on firewalls as well as auto-scaling infrastructures using Citrix SmartTools.

Digital business transformation is driving real-time data collection, automation, and analytics at an unprecedented rate. Companies embracing the Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) today are positioning themselves for many competitive advantages tomorrow.