Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence. Its goal is to enable computers to learn on their own. A machine's learning algorithm enables it to identify patterns in observed data, build models that explain the world, and predict things without having explicit pre-programmed rules and models.
A pattern is a string of characters intended to match one or more user inputs. A literal pattern like WHAT IS YOUR NAME will match only one input, ignoring case: "what is your name". But patterns may also contain wildcards, which match one or more words. A pattern like WHAT IS YOUR *.