This week, Google announced that it has open-sourced a new, unexpected product: a machine-learning system called TensorFlow.
TensorFlow, as Google outlined in a blog post, is the algorithm-based technology that for years has fueled its speech recognition capabilities, the new Smart Reply feature for email and the search function in Google Photos.
By open-sourcing TensorFlow, Google is readily sharing the software at the company’s very core.
Simply put, “machine learning” is what happens when computers sift through massive amounts of information and find patterns — which is the theory behind Tesla’s Autosteer software — and scientists believe it’s our most likely path toward advanced artificial intelligence.
Instead of selling the code and easily making oodles of money, Google is prioritizing the advancement of the technology. In the process, they will, of course, benefit from the new streams of information feeding into TensorFlow.
“We hope this will let the machine learning community — everyone from academic researchers, to engineers, to hobbyists — exchange ideas much more quickly,” Google said in a blog post. “And that, in turn, will accelerate research on machine learning, in the end making technology work better for everyone.”