Google has released its TensorFlow artificial intelligence (AI) engine under an open source license. Google uses TensorFlow to power the often-praised search capabilities in Google Photos, as well as to recognize spoken language, to help with translation and to improve Web search results.
Google could have chosen to sell the technology rather than give it away for free, but Google engineer Jeff Dean said, “What we’re hoping is that the community adopts this as a good way of expressing machine learning algorithms of lots of different types, and also contributes to building and improving [TensorFlow] in lots of different and interesting ways.”
Chris Nicholson, who leads a deep learning startup called Skymind, said, “Google is five to seven years ahead of the rest of the world. If they open source their tools, this can make everybody else better at machine learning.”