Artificial Intelligence (AI) comprises of Data, Algorithms and programming languages to apply Algorithms on top the data. Machine learning is one aspect of the AI. With Machine learning, you can take sample data (for example, 100s of cat pictures) and use different Neural Networks algorithms to teach the machine what a cat looks like. After the training data, you can then take a cat picture and do inference to see how the probablity of the picture you are testing is a cat or not.
Learning AI/ML is not that complex. In fact there are number of ways one can pick these up. If you interested i would suggest taking a small course in Udacity and then use a free tool such as the H2O.ai to apply what you learn