#TheAIAlphabet: P for Pre-Trained Models

The AI Alphabet   |   
Published October 25, 2023   |   
Susanna Myrtle Lazarus

You know how you’d sometimes get stuck on a tough level while playing a video game? And desperately wished for a magical power-up? Well, pre-trained models are like those power-ups, but for computers and artificial intelligence! 


So, here’s the scoop in simple terms: Pre-trained models are AI’s way of learning from the past. Just like you’d watch a pro gamer conquer levels and learn their moves, pre-trained models are trained on tons of data to understand language, images, or other tasks. They become like AI experts in those areas. 

It’s similar to teaching a baby how to recognize different objects. You could start by showing them pictures of different objects and saying their names. After a while, the baby will start to learn to associate the pictures with the names. 

Now imagine you’re trying to teach a computer how to recognize different objects. You could start by showing it a large dataset of images with labels. For example, you could show it a million images of cats, each labeled with the word “cat”. 

After a while, the computer will start to learn to associate the images of cats with the label “cat”. It will also learn to recognize different features of cats, such as their fur, ears, and eyes. 

So, if you’re building a chatbot or a smart camera. Instead of starting from scratch, you can grab one of these pre-trained models, which have already been through tons of training. It’s like hiring an AI with loads of experience. You just fine-tune it to fit your specific needs. 

Pre-trained models can be used for a variety of tasks, such as image recognition, natural language processing, and machine translation. For example, a pre-trained image recognition model could be used to identify different objects in a photo, or to classify images into different categories. 

It’s all about saving time and getting better results. They’ve learned the ropes, and you get to benefit from their knowledge without reinventing the wheel. It’s like having a sidekick who’s read all the cheat codes for the game of AI, and they’re helping you level up faster and smarter. So, next time you see a chatbot or a recommendation system that blows your mind, you’ll know it’s probably powered by a pre-trained model doing its magic behind the scenes!