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Glossary of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Big Data Terms

Brute-force search

A heuristic approach that involves generating a list of all the possible options for a solution and then testing the validity of every single option using a trial and error approach. Brute-force is considered an exhaustive search and is not a quick option, but rather serves as the heuristic alternative to more sophisticated approaches. For some classes of problems, brute-force search isn’t an option, such as for detecting objects in an image, playing complicated games, understanding conversations, or detecting patterns in large amounts of data. Besides, our own brains don’t use brute-force approaches to problems where we seem to have the ability to understand things without having to constantly search through all possibilities. This leads us to try to find a better way to make decisions and solve computational and cognitive problems than brute-force alternatives.

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