Why are algorithms so interesting
Listen to article (© bpb)An algorithm is a guide for computers. The majority of algorithms are algorithms.
Algorithms are instructions for computers. Instructions for computers are programmed by humans. Algorithms tell computers what to do in which order.
With an algorithm, a computer can solve a task step by step. Algorithms can also be used to evaluate data according to certain rules.
Evaluation means: The algorithms combine data with one another according to certain rules. This creates new data that people understand and that are interesting for certain people. Such data is also called information
Algorithms can compare a huge amount of data in a very short time. And then they come to a certain conclusion.
For example, algorithms can collect data on what women of a certain age often buy. This creates information for online shops about what interests women of this age. When a woman of this age is then on the website of the online shop, she will see these products. Maybe she'll buy such a product and the online shop made money.
When such an algorithm processes very large amounts of data, it just keeps getting better. It shows customers more and more precisely what interests them
You can also say that the computer learns.
Not only online shops use algorithms. In medicine, algorithms can help to find the causes of certain diseases. An algorithm can, for example, evaluate the age at which people get a certain disease particularly often.
Algorithms are also becoming more and more important in companies. For example, a camera can learn with algorithms. She can learn what broken products look like. It can then sort these products out on an assembly line. Nobody has to do that anymore. Man can then work on other things. But maybe there will be fewer jobs because the camera replaces human work.
Search engines also use algorithms. For example, algorithms calculate which web pages are displayed first.
There are some things that computers can do much faster and better with algorithms. For example, you can process a lot of data in a very short time. You can find out things that people cannot find out at the same time.
On the other hand, they can also treat people unfairly or restrict people's privacy.
Algorithm (& copy bpb | Illustration: tail unit)
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