Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence

The global GDP is expected to increase by 14 percent by 2020 due to Artificial Intelligence according to a report by PCW. On the other hand Software development platforms have witnessed an increase of more than 10 million new users in a span of just 12 months. These statistics show the rising trends in technology. Artificial Intelligence and people in software development. Many amongst us want to pursue software development in the latest domain that is AI. The first question in the developer’s mind is about programming language. We decided to answer this question and are presenting an interesting read on Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence.

You may have observed some bias towards Python in discussions on Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence. There is no doubt in Python being on the front when it comes to programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence. But there are numerous other programming languages for Artificial Intelligence too that we will discuss below. Nevertheless, we will start with python! 😉


Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence

Python takes up a special place in Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence category due to various reasons like easy syntax, built-in libraries, and lower learning curve. The AI engineer interested in the implementation of algorithms might not be interested in investing a lot of time learning the syntax of the programing language. Python with English like syntax makes the process easier.

Moreover, Python offers many libraries to accomplish machine learning concepts. NumPy, SciPy, PyBrain, and Pandas are few libraries to implement basic AI algorithms. Matplotlib helps in visualizing the underlying neural networks and their working. For deep learning, AI developers opt for Tensorflow and Keras usually. Also, Python is platform-independent which makes testing and running of AI software on different platforms easier. Teamwork also gets efficient without unnecessary configurations etc.

Dependency issues between Python 2 and Python 3 sometimes become a headache for the development team. Also, Python is said to have low mobile development capabilities and is considered slow for memory intensive programs as compared to other languages. But still, Python is happily used by majority AI developers especially the newcomers.


Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence

Another name in Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence that you might have heard of is R. R language is extensively used in data analytics, data modeling, and data visualizations. The large number of libraries and packages like RODBC and GModels make it an easier choice for big data tasks. 

Major R libraries for data science include dplyr for data analysis, tidyr for data cleaning, shiny for data visualizations and graphs, caret package for classification and regression tasks specifically, plotly for developing high-quality charts for embedding on web applications.

 The disadvantage of using R may include excess usage of memory, lower speed as compared to Python and somewhat steep learning curve, especially for new developers. 


Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence

We can’t complete the list of Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence without mentioning object-oriented language, Java. Java has established its name in the software world due to ease of use, easy debugging, better visualization, and user interaction. The large well-established Java developers’ community and a number of packages and libraries make Java a good choice for AI development.

Tensorflow is compatible with Java through an API. Java machine learning library, Neuroph, Deep Java library, Open NLP from Apache are a few examples of libraries facilitating machine learning through Java.

Java may pose some drawbacks in terms of slow performance and memory usage when running on top of Java virtual machine which, in turn, increases the cost of hardware.


Many AI developers prefer MATLAB when it comes to Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence especially for data-intensive tasks. MATLAB helps in working with complex mathematical models through libraries such as Caffe, regression learner app, etc. Through such libraries, you quickly get into AI working without much knowledge of proper software programming.

MATLAB is built enough to help you through the whole process of data access, analysis, development, and deployment. Even if you are not much familiar with machine learning, MATLAB learning can help you with basic tasks of feature extraction to complex implementations of deep learning.

Keep in mind that MATLAB is not free to use. It might be for early learners but for an individual, it might be costly to purchase. Although it might prove cost-effective for businesses.

Also, being an interpreted language it may seem slow as compared to the execution of a compiled programming language.


Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence

Prolog appeared in 1972 and is today helping with Artificial Intelligence development especially in the domain of natural language processing. It appears to be a good choice for developing chatbots. Elizia is such an example of chatbot developed on Prolog.

Using Prolog you can either work on a symbolic approach building rule-based systems or on statistical methods like building neural networks, performing data analytics and other machine learning models.

As the name defines, Prolog for Logic Programming, it lets you define rules, facts, and end goals. This approach helps in the easy implementation of AI systems. Prolog works with objects in the form of a constant symbol, variable symbol, and compound terms.

But the order of condition and statements greatly affect the speed of the program. Moreover, Prolog generally does not support graphics, although there is a recent exception in the form of Turbo Prolog. Prolog is also said to have not so good I/O features especially when compared to Lisp (next in our line!)


Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence

Created by the founder of AI, John McCarthy, Lisp stands for List Programming. This option in the list of Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence is the oldest one but still preferable by the AI developers due to some good features.

Although it was originally developed for programming mathematical notations, it is now deemed suitable for AI implementation due to features like fast prototyping, garbage collection, run-time object creation, etc. 

You might not find Lisp suitable due to not-so-familiar syntax and not enough libraries’ support. Today, Lisp is mostly used for logic programming.


In today’s software development era, it would be unjust to leave JavaScript from the list of Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence. Tensorflow.js is a JavaScript library created by Google. It helps developers to build and deploy machine learning models on client-side applications. Although the library is not much matured and comes with a lot of limitations it is constantly improving.

Being compatible with the Python Tensorflow library, Tensorflow.js has opened a lot of opportunities for ML developers. It has proved successful working on JavaScript applications for web browsers, server-side on Node.js environment, and also on mobile platforms like Android and iOS.

Tensorflow.js provides a low entry threshold for developers already involved in software development, has proved secure enough to be used with web applications and has displayed high computational speed. 

Few downsides of using JavaScript ML library may include hardware dependency for fast performance but with the newer version, the situation is improving. Also, the single thread synchronous actions may throttle the performance but the developers can always find a workaround for it.


So, this was our list of Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence. But, keep in mind that Artificial Intelligence is a problem-driven domain. Most of the resources and expertise are exerted to find efficient solutions to the problems. Once the optimized solution is achieved, the programming language used doesn’t much matter. Nevertheless, to give you a start we have listed some popular Programming Languages for Artificial Intelligence tried and tested by the AI developers over time.

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