Google open-sources its TensorFlow machine learning system

November 9, 2015

Google announced today that it will make its new second-generation “TensorFlow” machine-learning system open source.

That means programmers can now achieve some of what Google engineers have done, using TensorFlow — from speech recognition in the Google app, to Smart Reply in Inbox, to search in Google Photos, to reading a sign in a foreign language using Google Translate.

Google says TensorFlow is a highly scalable machine learning system — it can run on a single smartphone or across thousands of computers in datacenters. The idea is to accelerate research on machine learning, “or wherever researchers are trying to make sense of very complex data — everything from protein folding to crunching astronomy data.”

This blog post by Jeff Dean, Senior Google Fellow, and Rajat Monga, Technical Lead, provides a technical overview. “Our deep learning researchers all use TensorFlow in their experiments. Our engineers use it to infuse Google Search with signals derived from deep neural networks, and to power the magic features of tomorrow,” they note.