ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

Approximate computing

Approximate computing is like coloring with crayons, but sometimes you don't have to stay inside the lines. Just like you can still make a beautiful picture even if you go outside the lines a little bit, computers can still do important tasks even if they aren't 100 percent perfect all the time.

When we use computers, we expect them to be very accurate and precise all the time, but sometimes that can be too hard or too expensive. Instead, we can ask the computer to give us an answer that's pretty close to the right answer, but not perfect. It's like getting "close enough" for what we need.

For example, if we're trying to find out how much money someone owes on their credit card, it might be too hard to calculate the exact amount because there are so many factors involved. Instead, the computer could give us an approximate answer that's close enough to help us make decisions, like whether or not to offer a loan.

This technique can save time, energy, and money, while still getting us the information we need. It's not always perfect, but it's often good enough to get by.
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