Driven by recent developments in computational power, algorithms and web-based storage resources, machine learning (ML)-based artificial intelligence (AI) has quickly gained ground as the solution for many technological and societal challenges. AI education has become very popular and is oversubscribed at Dutch universities. Major investments were made in 2018 to develop and build the first AI-driven hospitals to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs. AI has the potential to greatly enhance traditional statistical analyses in many domains and has been demonstrated to allow the discovery of 'hidden' information in highly complex datasets. As such, AI can also be of significant value in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and the first applications of AI in the cardiovascular field are promising. However, many professionals in the cardiovascular field involved in patient care, education or science are unaware of the basics behind AI and the existing and expected applications in their field. In this review, we aim to introduce the broad cardiovascular community to the basics of modern ML-based AI and explain several of the commonly used algorithms. We also summarise their initial and future applications relevant to the cardiovascular field.