ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

interactive computation

Interactive computation is like playing a game where you do something, and the computer responds to it. For example, if you press a button on a computer screen, the computer might show you a new picture or some words. This happens because the computer is doing some math and figuring out what to show you based on what you did.

To make this happen, the computer needs a language it can understand. This language is called a programming language. People make different programming languages for different things, like making websites, video games, or robots.

When you use a computer program, you're giving the computer instructions in the programming language. These instructions tell the computer what to do and how to show you the results. Some programs are designed to interact with you, like video games or chat bots that can talk to you. For example, when you play a video game, you might use a controller to move a character around on the screen. The computer then responds to your movements and changes what you see on the screen.

Interactive computation is important because it lets people communicate with computers in real time. This means you can get feedback and make changes on the fly, instead of having to wait for the computer to finish its calculations. Interactive computation can help us solve problems, make decisions, and create simulations that help us understand the world around us.