What is garbage in, garbage out ?

“Garbage in, Garbage out” (GIGO) is a famous computing slang, which means, “if you entered wrong data, expect wrong results”. This phrase originated in the programming community, wherein programming gurus reminded their students to check their data and re-check their coding to ensure valid results, since computers can still process wrong information and provides results. Since then, the term has been used in other industries, such as music recording, wherein producers stress the need for proper equipments to produce high quality albums.

IBM programmer George Fueschsel is credited for the term “GIGO”, since he was the one who reminded his students that computers always process any information given without opinion. Fueschsel explained that if a programmer makes a mistake, it might result in GIGO or a false result. However, as long as people accepted the imperfection of a computer, Garbage In, Garbage Out won’t be an issue. Unfortunately, many people rely on a computer to do “everything” and often assume that their systems are infallible, resulting in false information, incorrect facts and other serious problems.

Programmers are aware of the GIGO principle, even developing programs to check for basic coding errors before data is entered. However, advanced computing with multiple arguments needs proofreading to ensure no problems would occur in the future.

Generally, this term can be applied in any industry or day-to-day instances since the principle behind GIGO is to ensure something is done with high quality before using it.

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