What is a computer, or what does it mean?

A computer is technically any device or system that can process information automatically according to a set of instructions. Most computers are electronic machines that can store as well as edit digital or numeric data, with another given set of data as commands or a program. Personal Computers and servers are often referred as computers, but computers or computer components can be found in many other devices such as game consoles, smartphones, ATM's, routers, DVD players, digital cameras and even some microwave ovens and cars. "Computer" comes from the Latin word "computare" which means to "calculate" or "enumerate", however computers now do more than this.

Computer's versatility, efficiency, accuracy and speed means they are very useful for logically and arithmetically dealing with large quantities of data and creating solutions otherwise impractical, such as interactive games and computer generated imagery, but they're not without their limits. Computers need to be programmed and, by themselves, cannot intelligently think and act the way we do and it's difficult creating programs to do so. Some tasks we take for granted are tricky for computer programs to do - such as analysing artwork and recognising familiar objects and styles, or emulating human social behaviour in a natural, adaptive and convincing way. A program or process that emulates such behaviour is known as Artificial Intelligence.

Last update on 2022-12-13 by DNC admin.

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