Google has announced the open source release of TensorFlow, its second-generation machine learning system.
TensorFlow is a followup to the company’s original DistBelief engine, which was used to make speech recognition work better and build image search into Google Photos.
DistBelief was not very scalable as a neural network and was tightly integrated with Google’s internal infrastructure, making it impractical to share code with researchers or other firms.
TensorFlow was built to avoid these concerns. It can run on a single smartphone or across several computers in datacentres.
It can be used for speech recognition in the Google app, Smart Reply in Inbox, and to search in Google Photos.
TensorFlow, which has built-in support for deep learning, is currently available to download under the Apache 2.0 license.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post, "TensorFlow is faster, smarter, and more flexible than our old system, so it can be adapted much more easily to new products and research.
"It allows us to build and train neural nets up to five times faster than our first-generation system, so we can use it to improve our products much more quickly."
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