Machine learning is very different from big data, this diagram illustrates it well.
What machine learning can do is teach us rules that we can reuse to allow for automation at the speed and scale of computers and software. The story from Ars Technica below illustrate this very well.
Vicarious AI describes an algorithm they created that is able to take minimal training and easily handle CAPTCHAs;
“They modeled the structure of their AI on information we’ve gained from studying how the mammalian visual cortex processes images.In the visual cortex, different groups of neurons recognize features like edges and surfaces (and others identify motions, which aren’t really relevant here).”