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Top five programming languages for AI and machine learning you should learn this year

(Image credit: Image Credit: Netguru)

According to Stack Overflow Trends, AI and ML are developing very fast, and those who can work with them will be the winners. In fact, a PwC report also shows that the global GDP is expected to increase by 14 per cent in 2030 due to the impact of AI on the economy and the commercial opportunities it has to offer.

From boosting productivity to automating tasks and simplifying processes, AI and ML open up a new world of endless opportunities. However, to pursue a career in AI, you need to have a good knowledge of the top 5 AI programming languages which are supported by both machine and deep learning libraries.

Top five programming languages for AI and machine learning

Whether you are a programmer or just interested in developing a career in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, we present you the top 5 programming languages in AL and ML that will shape your future.

Java for AI and ML

Java is a popular general-purpose and high-level computer programming language. It’s a fast, secure, and transparent language that is supported by different frameworks and libraries. Java stands out from other programming languages because it is easy to debug (via cool IDE), user-friendly, and runs on most platforms. Also, Java works well with search engine algorithms, and supports large scale projects.

Java is mostly used to develop desktop application. It’s also used in the following areas:

  • Transaction management in banks
  • Billing applications in retail stores
  • Writing Android applications
  • Server-side applications in financial services
  • Writing algorithms for the stock market
  • Data research in the scientific and research community
  • Web applications
  • Writing desktop and enterprise applications.

Prominent AI/ML users: Netflix, LinkedIn, Amazon, Google Ads, YouTube, and eBay


  • Easy to implement on various platforms
  • Simple to use
  • Reduces the developer’s workload due to the presence of an automatic memory manager
  • Object-oriented language
  • A large number of open-source libraries
  • An excellent choice for mobile game development and mobile apps
  • Most commonly used programming language
  • Easy to debug
  • Large community


  • Needs a JVM to function
  • Expensive memory management

If you’re interested in learning Java as a programming language for AI and ML, then head over to the following sites:

Codegym: Codegym is an online programming course that is 80 per cent based on practice. This site is gamified and teaches you all you need to know in order to become a Java developer

Coursera: Coursera is an online learning platform that offers massive online courses, degrees, and specialisation.

Python for AI and ML

Python is a high level and multi-purpose programming language created in 1991 by Guido Van. Python has the simplest syntax to learn for a non-programmer, and thus is a good option for beginners. It has a lot of frameworks and libraries, and supports both object-oriented and procedural development paradigms. In addition to that, Python as a programming language can be easily downloaded online at no cost: all you need to do is install the application on your computer, choose the text editor, and write your code.

Python can be used for:

  • Web development
  • Software development
  • Business applications
  • Data science
  • Developing chatbots

Prominent AI/ML users: Amazon, Google (Gmail), Instagram,  Spotify, SurveyMonkey, and Facebook.


  • Python is easy to learn and write
  • It has a large community of users in various parts of the world
  • It also has lots of libraries and frameworks


  • Difficulty in tracking error
  • Not suitable for mobile and game development

Interested in learning about Python for AI and ML? Then visit these sites:

Codecademy: Codecademy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 12 different programming languages, including Python.

Udemy: Udemy is an online learning platform aimed at professional adults. Unlike other learning platforms, Udemy uses content from online content creators to sell for profit.

C++ for AI and ML

Developed in 1983 by Bjarne Stroustrup, C++ is the fastest programming language, perfect for time-sensitive AI projects. It’s used in writing applications when performance and proper use of resources are essential. It also gives room for extensive use of algorithms and AI statistical techniques, and supports re-using programs for development.

C++ may not be your first choice when developing an AI application; it is, however, perfect for people working in an embedded environment who can't afford the overhead cost of the Java Virtual Machine.

C++ is used for resource-intensive applications, AI in games and robot locomotion, and rapid execution of projects due to its high level of performance and efficiency.

Prominent AI/ML users: Google. Google makes use of C++ in various areas of search engine optimisation, especially in Google Chrome


  • Fast in-code execution
  • Better level and efficiency of control


  • Complex syntax
  • Difficult to learn language because the standard library is so small
  • Does not support garbage collection
  • Highly time-consuming to develop
  • Difficult to maintain

Some places to learn about C++ for AI and ML include:

Learn C++: This free online learning platform is devoted to teaching students how to program in C++.

Solo Learn: Solo Learn is an online learning platform with the largest collection of free code learning content from beginner to pro. Students are free to choose from thousands of programming topics and learn to code on the platform.

R for AI and ML

Designed in 1992 by Robert Gentleman and Ross Ihaka, R is a comprehensive statistical language that encourages the development of new ideas. It’s easy to understand and has a lot of packages and material libraries that can speed up the learning process, just like Python.

R is created for predictive analysis and statistics, and that is why it’s mostly used in data science.

Prominent AI/ML users: Google, Uber, and The New York Times. These companies use R for big data modeling, visualisation, and data analysis.


  • R has a small standard library when compared to other languages like Java
  • R runs on various operating system seamlessly


  • R is not beginner-friendly because its syntax is complex
  • It is slower when compared to other programming languages like Python.

If you’re interested in learning more about R for AI and ML, Visit any of these sites:

Data camp: Data camp is an online learning platform that helps students understand data science today and apply it in future.

EDX: EDX is an online learning platform with over 20 million learners in various parts of the globe. The platform is aimed at increasing access to high quality education to all students

JavaScript for AI and ML

JavaScript is a high-level programming language used to enhance web pages and provide a user-friendly experience. JavaScript is supported by most web browsers, like Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Opera.

JavaScript is quite popular due to its full-stack features, flexible and multi-paradigm approach, and the fact that it’s easy to learn the basics.

JavaScript is used in web and mobile app development, desktop app development, and game development.

Prominent AI/ML users: Wikipedia, WordPress, and Facebook


  • Javascript is simple to learn and use
  • Javascript works well with other applications
  • Javascript is very fast


  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Interpreted differently by different browsers
  • There aren’t enough libraries
  • The community is not as big as the Python or Java community

Interested in learning about JavaScript for AI and ML? Then visit:

Learn JavaScript: Learn JavaScript is an online learning platform that gives you an opportunity to learn JavaScript from scratch and practice in an intuitive environment.

JavaScript: This is an online learning platform which allows students to learn JavaScript as a programming language and working with a browser.


Programming Languages for AI and ML are changing all the time, and you should be careful when following the current trends. For everyone interested in developing a career as a data scientist or a programmer, having a good knowledge of one or several programming languages listed above is a must.

John Selawsky, senior Java developer and Java tutor, Learning Tree International

John Selawsky is a senior Java developer and Java tutor at Learning Tree International programming courses. Visit his personal Medium blog to read more of John's Java thoughts and advice.