Computer science buzzwords explained

academics computer science
By Jule

Computer science can be intimidating! Especially when people use lingo you aren’t familiar with. The goal of this blog post is to help you start understanding some of the computer science buzzwords.

Artificial Intelligence or AI

This refers to the creation of computer programs that are smart. Yes, it is as vague as it sounds. Who decides what counts as smart? The truth is, everyone has their own definition. It can mean that the computer program is doing high level computations and learning, or it can mean it’s a computer program that can count. 

Machine Learning or ML

Machine learning is a subfield of artificial intelligence. It refers to a computer that learns, usually from large data sets. This is a very popular field right now! It has been used to teach a computer how to beat the world champion in chess and is currently being used to train cars how to drive. One way to do machine learning is with a neural network. 

Neural Networks

This is a type of machine learning! It consists of neurons (sort of like the ones we have in our brain) and the connections between neurons. In basic terms, neural networks use math to learn patterns from input in order to make decisions later. For example, people have trained a neural network to identify objects in images. If you have google photos you can search for items like a tree and it will use a neural network to identify all your photos that have a tree in them. It’s pretty awesome! 

Deep learning

This is a neural network with multiple layers. Basically a more complex neural network that can be used to do more complex tasks. One application of deep learning is being able to find and identify text in an image and then translate it to another language.

These definitions are just scratching the surface. All of these terms/fields are studied in depth by people around the world. There are also many college courses around many of these buzzwords. If you are interested in learning more I recommend starting with an introduction to AI course! 

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