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The Concept of GIGO and it's application in various fields

The Concept of GIGO and its application in various fields

Jul, 25th 18

GIGO (an acronym for garbage in garbage out) is a concept commonly used to refer faults in processes relating to the various field. It means that feeding unrecognized or improper information leads to improper or useless results.

No matter how precise and well-functioned a machine is if the unrecognized or wrong input is given, in turn, the same is provided as a result of the machine. For instance, if a programmer feeds the computer with a data that is unrecognized by the software, it is likely to provide unrecognized results in return which is referred to as garbage. Hence, the term garbage in garbage out is used to refer to such situations.


Quiz Question


GIGO situation signifies?


a)      Processing of disposing Garbage


b)      Processing of Data mining


c)       Processing of incorrect data would result in incorrect results


d)      None of the above


The term was first introduced by George Fuechsel, an IBM 305 RAMAC instructor. It was used as a teaching mantra by him to help his students understand the concept of wrong input. GIGO is a term used to explain the functioning of the computer when fed with unrecognized data. The origin of this term goes back to the time when the first computer was invented. The weird fact is, back then, computers were as big as a washing machine and input was given using buttons whilst output was received in the form of paper copies. One wrong press of a button would result in unrecognized/wrong output on the copy which practically had to be treated as garbage by throwing it away.


Technically, this means GIGO has been in use right from the beginning. However, the usage of term GIGO kept increasing but there was no legit proof about its origination. It was in 2004, that George commented on a blog that discussed GIGO stating that he was the person who coined the term. The term found its place on Wikipedia and soon edits started coming in. Further, requests for citation and credits to start flowing in. On research, it was found that George Fueschsel, indeed was the one to have coined this term.

The prime aim of this term was to help understand the fact that a computer is a processing machine and not a rectifier or a correcting machine. Today, the GIGO is no longer a major issue due to the evolvement of functionalities like autocorrect where the machine is capable of analyzing the mistakes and warns the user or rectifies the issue itself. However, at the dawn of computation, one query, in particular, was quite common — if incorrect data is fed to the machine, will it be able to provide the correct answers? The answer was no but the explanation had to be a strong one in order to help everyone understand the core objective of using a computer. Hence, the term GIGO was bought into the picture. It explains that when incorrect data is entered, the computer is bound to provide the incorrect results only. The functionality of the machine depends on the type of data (recognizable data) provided. If you enter alphabets in the place where digits are expected, the computer will automatically give you unrecognizable results that are otherwise called as garbage. Ergo, garbage in equals to garbage out.  


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