The battle for the future of computing is a battle to bring artificial intelligence to the mainstream and Google is quietly overhauling a machine learning tool used to improve some of its most popular services including Google Translate and Google Photos.
TensorFlow can be used to help teach computers how to process data in ways similar to how the human brain handles information. It is also open source, meaning Google has published and shared the code online so that external developers can use and improve it. The latest version, released by Google on Wednesday, adds a feature many TensorFlow users have asked for since the tool made its public debut in late 2015: the ability to operate on multiple devices.
Instead of being limited by the processing capabilities of a single computer, it can use distributed networks to handle more complicated tasks as, if TensorFlow will now be able to use many brain cells instead of being confined to just one.
TensorFlow was developed to improve many of the services Google users interact with on a regular basis. It has taught the translation app to understand more of language’s idiosyncrasies, allowed the photos tool to identify many of the subjects in the images uploaded to its servers and made it easier for Google’s mobile apps to understand what people are saying when giving verbal instructions to its search engine.