What can TensorFlow really do? Some business applications
TL;DR: Google’s open-source TensorFlow library helps developers build computational graphs and contains free additional modules that make AI/ML software development easier for consumer products and mobile apps. Developers require knowledge of Python or C++. This piece covers 3 common modules and possible business applications:
Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) for image recognition
Sequence-to-Sequence (Seq2Seq) models for human language
Large-scale linear models for data analysis
What’s in TensorFlow?
Open-sourced in 2015, TensorFlow is a framework by Google for creating deep learning models. Deep Learning is one of several categories of machine learning (ML) models that use multi-layer neural networks. The TensorFlow library allows users to perform functions by creating a computational graph.
TensorFlow took the world by storm because it is free, (relatively) easy to use and gives developers with entry-level machine learning backgrounds access a powerful library instead of building all their AI models from scratch. TensorFlow and its accompanying modules make ML/AI software development for both mobile apps and backend services easier.
How does TensorFlow fit into AI and Machine learning?
Tensorflow is one of many machine learning libraries (other examples include CNTK and Theano). Machine learning is a field of computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. For example, AlphaGo Zero‘s AI taught itself to play Go and outperformed its predecessor, AlphaGo, which had defeated the world champion in Go. Machine learning is useful for tasks where explicit algorithms don’t yield good results, such as user screening, sorting high context data and clustering for predictions and profiling.
Practical examples include detecting fraud or data breaches, email filtering, optical character recognition (OCR), and ranking.
In the next section, we’ll demystify the computational graph, which is essential for understanding how TensorFlow works in human-speak.
Trigger Warning: Computational graphs and a bit of theory