"Machine learning" is a funny term. On the one hand, taken at face value it suggests nothing less than straight-up artificial intelligence. And machine learning and deep neural networks do underpin the ability of software to do things like identify objects and faces in images, invent recipes, or recognize whales songs in the ocean so that ships don't run into them. But the reality is that machine learning is much more about teaching computers to quickly study for statistical patterns, and autonomously identify those patterns in a large data set. It's still a fascinating subset of computer science, and one that's seen massive innovation and growth in the past decade, but it's not quite building Hal from 2001 or Eva from Ex Machina quite yet.