Saturday, 12 October 2019

Data In, Cake Out

Algorithms are everywhere and they are talked about a lot when it comes to computing and robotics and Artificial intelligence but i have no idea what one is so what is an algorithm?
Using Google, it explains that an algorithm is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations, especially in a computer which doesn't really explain much so i asked the guys in the IT section at work who stopped playing Fortnite long enough to explain that an algorithm is just a set of instructions which a computer follows so for example in a search engine, you write in your query, the algorithm follows the instructions that has been written for it and displays the results.
So in short data goes in (your Google query), the algorithm goes through it's list of instructions (searches for the best match) and the result comes out (your hits).
While my head nodded and my mouth said i understood, obviously that wasn't fooling anyone so it was explained in different terms which was baking a cake.
An algorithm is like a recipe for a cake, a list of instructions of the ingredients, how to mix them, what number on the oven to cook it on and for how long so it became the data (your ingredients), the algorithm (how to mix them and cook them) and the result (the cake).
Simples really, an algorithm is basically how to make a coffee and walnut cake and now all i have to work out is the PEBCAK which the tech guys says all my computer problems are due to, not sure what it is but it sounds serious.

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