Can You Do AI with C++

Written by Adam Morris

Updated August 4, 2023
Man sitting facing computer with programming code lines on screen

As a C++ programmer, do you wonder if can construct Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications using your coding language?

As Artificial Intelligence continues to gain traction, developers are increasingly eager to unlock its vast potential. Programming languages such as Python and JavaScript have quickly become favorites among those just starting out due to their straightforward syntaxes. But can C++ also be used for AI programming?

C++, one of the best programming languages has been used by tech giants from Amazon to Microsoft for AI development. Despite being compared to many other languages, it still stands out in terms of its performance and speed which makes it ideal for resource hungry applications like machine learning algorithms that require heavy processing. This article dives into the effectiveness of C++ in constructing both basic and intricate AI systems.

C++ Programming Language

C++ is an excellent choice for building machine learning models and systems. Its speed and dependability make it an ideal choice for projects that require the intensive handling of data, like text recognition, image categorization, and speech acknowledgment.

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Due to its power and flexibility, C++ can process complex algorithms without causing any significant delay from input to output. Complex computations on large datasets can be completed much faster with C++ compared to Python or other programming languages.

Although C++ enables developers to create efficient ML models and systems, it also requires them to have an in-depth knowledge of the language’s functionalities as well as a good grasp of its object-oriented principles. Experienced developers, therefore, have all the necessary understanding and experience to build powerful machine learning systems with C++.

Libraries like OpenCV provide additional help with common ML studies such as computer vision and image manipulation while TensorFlow, an open-source library created by Google, allows developers to execute numeric operations using dataflow graphs. To top it off, popular frameworks like Keras enable quick experimentation with various neural network configurations without having to write code from scratch.

Why Use C++ Code in Building AI?

If you’re searching for a language to develop intricate algorithms, AI systems, and machine learning models efficiently and quickly, C++ is the perfect choice. Its amazing speed will help you create neural networks with ease. 

C++ is ideal for optimizing the design of AI-focused apps since its code runs at lightning speed. When developers make this language their go-to foundation for development, debugging and deploying programs can be done quickly with minimal effort – enabling them to reduce time spent on each task significantly. This makes it easier to create programs that perform well, even when they involve highly complex operations.

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Additionally, since C++ optimizes code while compiling rather than during runtime execution like other languages do (such as Java or Python), it further reduces wasted cycles or redundancies in processing tasks throughout the application’s lifespan. By utilizing this optimization process from start-to-finish, developers can create highly efficient AI applications that deliver maximum performance with minimal effort.

Also see: Can AI Replace Programmers?

C++ Machine Learning Library

C++ is one of the few languages that can meet the requirements of ML algorithms for reliability and high performance. To help software engineers create powerful C++-based machine learning projects, there are a number of libraries that can provide support in building complex computational algorithms. These libraries can be an invaluable tool for streamlining development time, allowing engineers to focus their efforts on more important aspects.

With the growing fame of machine learning, it is essential to pinpoint the most suitable libraries available so developers can select not only those with first-rate features but also ones that align precisely with their needs and situations.


Developers utilizing TensorFlow can unlock the immense potential of machine learning projects. As a powerful library written in C++, it allows developers to teach artificial intelligence programs so they are able to address many different issues.

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Google initially developed the TensorFlow library as an extension of their internal DistBelief library, however, they have since made it open source and offered up on GitHub. This move has allowed a thriving community of enthusiasts to grow up around the platform, offering assistance and guidance to one another as they build more sophisticated solutions using the platform.

One of the most helpful features in TensorFlow is its use of graphs representing training models. By viewing the problem in graph form, researchers can better understand how their neural networks can be solved and effectively routed through complex data structures.

Additionally, this helps them visualize the tensors – or multidimensional data structures – found within those networks, allowing for much more efficient development and understanding of how machine learning functions within their program. Thanks to TensorFlow’s active support from its userbase, solution-seekers are never short on help or new ideas when looking for solutions with this powerful tool.


Caffe is a modern, powerful library for deep machine learning written in C++ by the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Learning Center and their contributor community. This library allows users to build intricate machine learning models without an extensive background in computer programming.

Instead of manually entering commands, configuration files can be created and launched from the command line for efficient execution. In terms of performance, Caffe runs particularly fast on GPUs and enables developers to tackle challenges associated with image classification and segmentation tasks quickly.

For those just starting out with implementing machine learning tasks using Caffe, there are numerous tutorials, lectures and webinars available as part of the Caffe Summer Bootcamp program which makes it accessible to beginners.

The speed, modularity and accessibility of this library makes it ideal for advanced data analysis projects that require large datasets or heavier workloads than what can realistically be done with a CPU. Ultimately Caffe provides developers with an efficient solution that increases the potential reach of their projects while still providing accurate results.


Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK) is an unparalleled, open-source deep learning solution that offers innovative and performance-oriented resources to optimize machine learning. Utilizing this cutting edge technology allows developers the capability of training models at scale with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

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It stands out because it is faster than TensorFlow, especially in recurrent networks where it can give up to five or ten times performance gain. Furthermore, CNTK has a flexible and powerful API for C++ and demonstrates one of the highest accuracies in training deep learning models.

The tool describes neural networks as a series of computational steps using a directed graph. With this, data science engineers can effortlessly craft common models including Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs/LSTMs), Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), and redirected Deep Neural Nets.

With its ability to speed up training, demonstrate high accuracy levels, and make deep learning easier, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit may be the preferred choice for many data scientists looking to integrate deep learning projects into their workflow with minimal hassle.


DyNet is a C++ library with Python bindings designed for building complex neural networks with advanced architectures and control flow. DyNet distinguishes itself from its competition by being a completely optimized software package that is built to efficiently run on both CPUs and GPUs, delivering superior performance and scalability.

Furthermore, its wide range of tuning options for optimization levels allow developers to build both fast and reliable models suitable for each specific tasks – enabling fine-grained tradeoffs between time and accuracy. All in all, DyNet is an extremely versatile library that offers impressive features suited for even the most complicated machine learning scenarios.


Shogun is a free open-source library with multiple machine-learning features, focusing mainly on Support Vector Machines (SVMs). Shogun provides a wide range of algorithms for classifications and regression problems, including clustering algorithms, kernel perceptrons, linear discriminant analysis, dimensionality reduction algorithms, etc. Due to its impressive capabilities, this product is ideal for both educational and research initiatives.

However, working with the API of Shogun can be difficult due to its complex nature. The library requires a substantial amount of coding knowledge and understanding to use effectively. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use machine learning library, then perhaps it’s time to investigate different possibilities.

Nonetheless, Shogun’s ability to efficiently perform strong machine learning tasks makes it a valuable asset for anyone interested in research or data processing.


Create a powerful Artificial Neural Network (ANN) in just a few simple steps with Fast Artificial Neural Network library; this open-source, C based program also supports the use of C++. FANN has been helping develop solutions for a wide range of industries since its initial launch back in 2003, such as aerospace engineering, image recognition, genetic algorithms, and artificial intelligence.

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Its key features include backpropagation learning and evolving topology learning, which give it the necessary flexibility for many different types of projects. Additionally, FANN works fluently on multiple platforms and supports both floating and fixed point numbers.


With OpenNN, developers have a remarkable opportunity to unleash the capacity of artificial intelligence. The library enables its users to formulate, train, and simulate neural networks for advanced analytics. Through its many layers of complexity and utilities, the library provides optimal performance for such tasks as classification, regression, prediction, and more.


Boasting unparalleled ease of use and the potential to expand on demand, PyTorch is swiftly becoming data scientists’ premier option. The deep learning library built by the Facebook team offers a C++ based frontend which allows for imperative style programming. With these advancements, we can continue to make remarkable strides toward more knowledgeable AI solutions.

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The PyTorch ecosystem is rich with various libraries used for data pre-processing, practical training of models and integration into existing applications. For instance, PyTorch Lightning and are known for simplifying training processes; Pyro facilitates probabilistic programming; Flair aids in natural language processing; and Catalyst helps with both training DL and RL models.

Those libraries all make use of the framework’s incredibly powerful capabilities like GPU acceleration, easily creating complex mathematical calculations and neural networks, as well as a tape-based autograd system especially designed for fast AI model code prototyping.

SHARK Library

SHARK Library is a powerful open-source C++ machine learning library that provides comprehensive solutions for various ML experts. From linear and non-linear optimization techniques to kernel-based learning, neural networks, or any other supervised or unsupervised application – this platform offers an array of sophisticated algorithms. SHARK serves as an essential toolkit for ML professionals and researchers alike by providing efficient methods to implement real-world projects.

The library holds numerous functions tailored specifically to ML needs like linear optimization algorithms, which provide results in significantly less time with increased accuracy compared to other libraries. Furthermore, it includes evolutionary algorithms to fit models using limited datasets efficiently and cost-effectively with improved performance.

Suitable for both research purposes and production implementation SHARK can run on multiple platforms from Windows to Linux. The library offers a thorough documentation making it easier for developers to integrate the library into their code quickly which further helps save time and costs associated with training and testing deep learning models.


Scikit-Learn is a powerful library for data preprocessing, modeling, and machine learning tasks. By leveraging the power of NumPy and SciPy, users can easily construct reliable models in a fraction of time. With an array of supervised and unsupervised learning methods at their fingertips, anyone can use this powerful tool to generate accurate results quickly.

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The active community of Scikit-Learn makes it easy for anyone to ask questions and find answers online. SciPy provides an abundance of algorithms and tools specifically designed to empower data analysis projects, including decision trees, linear regression, logistic regression, classification and clustering. With the help of these robust solutions offered by SciPy your project can reach its full potential!


SciPy is a fantastic machine learning library for C++ that easily makes it to the top of lists detailing the best ML solutions. At its core lies the powerful NumPy library for Python, providing users with multidimensional array functionality. Advanced support for natural language processing further allows for commercial projects to benefit from this project.

From linear algebra tasks of digitalization to functions such as Fourier transform, image optimization, integration interpolation, differential equation solving, signal and image processing, and more, the SciPy project offers far more than its NumPy precursor.

The SciPy library also provides access to packages such as cluster, fft, interpolate, and ndimage which can be used by developers to create cost-efficient applications in C++ without having to needlessly repeat code that was already written in programming languages such as Python or other similar toolsets. By being able to use existing modules, software development time can be significantly reduced while still maintaining an optimized level of quality.


In summation, C++ libraries have a myriad of machine learning applications that can bring any project to fruition. However, if you’re looking for the most advanced libraries and ones that offer the best features and capabilities, then TensorFlow, Caffe and Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit should top your list. These powerful libraries provide an array of tools and features that can allow developers to achieve the highest levels of accuracy in their predictions and various other tasks.


Is Python or C++ better for machine learning?

Python’s user-friendly readability and versatile libraries make it the ultimate language for machine learning. Plus, utilizing powerful frameworks such as TensorFlow and PyTorch are already available to us at no cost – making programming with Python even easier than coding in C++! Machine learning algorithms are made simpler through these tools that allow developers to focus on the task at hand rather than underlying complexities of coding itself. In contrast, C++ is incredibly powerful and unobtrusive; however, it can be difficult to grasp. Therefore if speed or resource utilization is your main focus then C++ is the way to go, however for general purposes most people prefer Python.

Can I create an AI using C language?

Yes, you can create an AI using C language. C programming language allows for direct control of low-level hardware and system functions, does not require any additional libraries for data structures and is suitable for AI applications. In addition, many AI techniques like machine learning, evolutionary algorithms and neural networks are enabled by C programming language because of its speed and versatility.

Can you program AI using LISP?

Absolutely, one can program AI with a versatile language known as LISP. The acronym stands for “list processing,” and a number of languages are built around the control of symbolic expressions. With its power to carry out multiple sophisticated calculations quickly, it makes the perfect choice for AI development. In fact, many AI technologies began as research projects built on top of the Lisp platform. Recently, Lisp has surged in popularity among Artificial Intelligence developers due to its comprehensive capabilities and highly expressive syntax. Furthermore, it contains robust libraries that simplify some of the more tedious tasks associated with developing an AI system.

Adam is a crypto expert & AI enthusiast who has been researching and writing on the topics since 2017.

He’s spoken on numerous podcasts and has been featured in many prominent media publications such as Forbes, CNN & CNBC.