Automation is the process of making a system or process function automatically. Robotic process automation, for example, can be programmed to perform high-volume, repeatable tasks normally performed by humans. RPA is different from IT automation in that it can adapt to changing circumstances.
Machine learning is the science of getting a computer to act without programming. Deep learning is a subset of machine learning that, in very simple terms, can be thought of as the automation of predictive analytics. There are three types of machine learning algorithms: supervised learning, in which data sets are labeled so that patterns can be detected and used to label new data sets; unsupervised learning, in which data sets aren't labeled and are sorted according to similarities or differences; and reinforcement learning, in which data sets aren't labeled but, after performing an action or several actions, the AI system is given feedback.
Machine vision is the science of making computers see. Machine vision captures and analyzes visual information using a camera, analog-to-digital conversion and digital signal processing. It is often compared to human eyesight, but machine vision isn't bound by biology and can be programmed to see through walls, for example. It is used in a range of applications from signature identification to medical image analysis. Computer vision, which is focused on machine-based image processing, is often conflated with machine vision.
Natural language processing (NLP) is the processing of human -- and not computer -- language by a computer program. One of the older and best known examples of NLP is spam detection, which looks at the subject line and the text of an email and decides if it's junk. Current approaches to NLP are based on machine learning. NLP tasks include text translation, sentiment analysis and speech recognition.
Pattern recognition is a branch of machine learning that focuses on identifying patterns in data. The term, today, is dated.
Robotics is a field of engineering focused on the design and manufacturing of robots. Robots are often used to perform tasks that are difficult for humans to perform or perform consistently. They are used in assembly lines for car production or by NASA to move large objects in space. More recently, researchers are using machine learning to build robots that can interact in social settings.