The term is used typically to contrast approaches in discussion with artificial intelligence (AI), where machine intelligence is the deliberate aim of the work. To date AI has been unable to create a "true" machine intelligence, but much of this appears to be due to a misunderstanding, or underevaluation, of the term "intelligence". It appears that human intelligence evolved once a critical event at an uncertain level of complexity in the brain was reached, a so-called emergent behaviour. Users of the term artificial being suggest that emergent_algorithms will evolve machine intelligence in the same way, and is unlikely to be the result of deliberate design.
The true difference, if any, between the two terms is somewhat unclear, and it is used mostly to illustrate that a particular approach is not "classical" due to the negative connotations AI has garnered over the years.