What is an algorithm? How computers know what to do with data - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

What is an algorithm? How computers know what to do with data

https://theconversation.com/what-is-an-algorithm-how-computers-know-what-to-do-with-data-146665

theconversation.com

What is an algorithm? How computers know what to do with data
A close look at how you decide what clothes to put on in the morning can help you understand how computers work.

5

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

An algorithm is a set of instructions

An algorithm is a set of instructions

The instructions tell a computer how to transform a set of facts into useful information.

The facts are data. The useful information is knowledge for people, instructions for machines or input for another algorithm. Typical examples are sorting sets of numbers or finding routes through maps.

74 SAVES


VIEW

Algorithms: The Input

To a computer, input is the information needed to make decisions.

For example, if you get dressed, you will need information such as what clothes are available to you, then you might consider the temperature, the season, and personal preferences.

70 SAVES


Algorithms: Transformation

Computation is the heart of an algorithm and involves arithmetic, decision-making, and repetition.

To apply this to getting dressed, you make decisions by doing some math on input quantities. Wearing a jacket might depend on the temperature. To a computer, part of getting dressed algorithm would be "if it is below 50 degrees and raining, then pick the rain jacket and a long-sleeved shirt."

68 SAVES


Algorithms: Output

The last step of an algorithm is output - expressing the answer.

Output to a computer is usually more data. It allows computers to string algorithms together in complex ways to produce more algorithms. Output can also present information, such as putting words on a screen.

69 SAVES


Machine learning

It can sometimes be too complicated to spell out a decision-making process. Machine learning tries to "learn" based on a set of past decision-making examples.

Machine learning is used for things like recommendations, predictions, and looking up information.

68 SAVES


SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Neuroevolution

Neuroevolution is a form of artificial intelligence. It is a meta-algorithm, an algorithm for designing algorithms. It adopts the principles of biological evolution in order to design smarter algor...

Evolutionary algorithms

Traditionally, evolutionary algorithms are used to solve specific problems. For instance, the ability to control a two-legged robot. Solutions that perform the best on some metrics are selected to produce offspring.

In spite of successes, these algorithms are more computationally intensive than approaches such as "deep learning."

The steppingstone principle

It goes beyond traditional evolutionary approaches. It explains innovation. Instead of optimizing for a specific goal, it embraces the creative exploration of a diverse population of solutions.

The steppingstone’s potential can be seen by analogy with biological evolution: feathers likely evolved for insulation and only later became handy for flight.

4 more ideas