What is TensorFlow?

what is tensorflow

The Google artificial intelligence system, TensorFlow, is used in a number of its apps. It’s open source, meaning this program can be utilized by other companies in their own projects. You may have heard of it, but have only a vague idea of what it is. Let’s take a look at this system, how it works and the ways in which it can be used in order to understand its overall ramifications.

About the Software

This open source software was developed by Google and released on November 9, 2015. It was initially meant for internal Google use, but because it was released the Apache 2.0 Internal Source license, which allows others to incorporate the system into their own works. Its purpose is related to machine learning that covers a wide range of tasks, and it works very much the way in which the human brain does with respect to reasoning and learning. The program does this through building various neural-like networks and training them to see and analyze patterns, along with making correlations among those patterns.

How It Works

The system builds upon the workings of an earlier program it developed in 2011 known as DistBelief, which simply incorporates machine learning to recognize images. It does this through pattern recognition by identifying one small aspect of a photo and then applying what it’s learned from that piece to other photos. Positive reinforcement is the tool that was employed in the “teaching” of DistBelief. When the system recognized a pattern correctly, it was given an affirmative response. In cases when it was wrong, adjustments were made so that patterns would more readily be recognized in future trials. This concept is expanded upon in the workings of the software at hand. An artificial neural network was created to sort through layers of information called “nodes” as a foundation for its learning. Each layer makes note of a more complex piece of an image in order to identify it. Tensor is the term that refers to this entire process of artificial learning, hence the program’s name.

Potential for Use

There are a host of useful pursuits that can be assisted through use of this software. Ones that are primarily related to pattern recognition are likely to most benefit research projects, app development or any type of initiative in which human fallibility is a detriment. Other individuals or corporations may wish to use the system, as well, as those who are tech savvy can use it to build upon various concepts. The advanced pattern recognition abilities of the software can be used to sift through big data, look for duplicates the human eye might miss or detect language patterns. The possibilities are vast.


If you’re a software or app developer, you may take a particular interest in this machine learning program. The same can be said for researchers, those needing to sift through large quantities of data and companies engaged in further technological advances. TensorFlow opens the doors to enhancing limitless endeavors and bringing all sorts of ventures to life.

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