Since OpenAI was released in December 2022, not a day goes by that we don’t hear about some new advancement in the field. What the internet evolution was in the 90s, AI is today.

According to a study by McKinsey, generative AI can alone contribute between $2.6 trillion and $4.4 trillion annually! All within a span of a year. 

But what is the underlying technology? Where can businesses get AI/ML frameworks to start with? 

And if you need AI tools for your business, would you have to code from scratch? 

Not at all. There are libraries such as Keras and TensorFlow to provide a framework from which businesses and developers can start.

But which is the better tool for your requirements? Between Keras vs Tensorflow, which is easiest to use and which is more comprehensive?

In this article, we explore both of these technologies in depth.


Keras vs Tensorflow: Understanding the Differences

TensorFlow and Keras are tools that help build AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems. Much like the components of a car, they are not AI themselves. They provide the necessary framework and functions to design and deploy AI models.


What is Keras? 

Keras is a high-level neural network library. It is written in Python and capable of running on top of either TensorFlow, CNTK, MXNet, or PyTorch.

Essentially, Keras is a tool that allows developers to build and train deep learning models quickly and easily.

It was developed by Francois Chollet, a Google engineer.


What is TensorFlow?

TensorFlow is an open-source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs.

It’s primarily used for developing and deploying machine learning (ML) models. TensorFlow is especially meant for creating deep neural networks.

Like Keras, TensorFlow was developed by the Google Brain team.


Also Read - Keras vs PyTorch Which ML Framework is the Best for You


Keras vs Tensorflow: Use Cases

Both Keras and TensorFlow are open-source libraries for developing AI and ML applications. But upon closer look, they have distinct characteristics and serve different purposes.


Keras Use Cases


Keras Use Cases


Keras API is written in Python, and is widely used for various machine learning tasks. It is a powerful and versatile tool that has made deep learning more accessible to developers.


Natural Language Processing (NLP): Keras is utilized in NLP applications, such as sentiment analysis, text classification, and language translation. Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) and Long Short-Term Memory networks (LSTMs) in Keras are well-suited for processing sequential data. Such as, in customer support, Keras can be employed for sentiment analysis in customer reviews, helping to understand customer feedback.


Reinforcement Learning: Keras API can be applied to implement reinforcement learning algorithms. These involve training models to make decisions based on trial and error. This is useful in areas such as game playing, robotics, and autonomous systems. In the retail industry, Keras can be used for product recognition on store shelves.


Transfer Learning: Keras facilitates transfer learning. It is an ML technique where a model developed for a particular task is reused as the starting point for a model on a second task. Transfer learning allows developers to create pre-trained models and fine-tune them for specific tasks. This feature is particularly beneficial when working with limited datasets.

TensorFlow Use Cases 


TensorFlow Use Cases


TensorFlow stands out for its flexibility and robust capabilities in managing and processing intricate, large-scale datasets. It is the preferred option for both research and applications in the field of artificial intelligence.


Image Recognition: TensorFlow is widely employed for image recognition tasks, where the goal is to classify and detect objects within images. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) implemented using TensorFlow provide state-of-the-art performance in tasks like object detection, image classification, and facial recognition. In the automotive industry, TensorFlow is employed for autonomous vehicle systems to recognize and interpret objects on the road, enhancing safety and decision-making capabilities.


Predictive Analytics: TensorFlow is applied for predictive analytics and regression tasks. It is excellent at predicting numerical values based on historical data. Regression models implemented using TensorFlow are valuable in finance, sales forecasting, and other scenarios requiring numeric predictions. In e-commerce, TensorFlow is widely used to predict customer purchase behavior and optimize inventory management.


Generative Models and Image Synthesis: TensorFlow is used for generative models. These are named Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Variational Autoencoders (VAEs). These models are capable of image synthesis, style transfer, and data augmentation. In the entertainment industry, TensorFlow-powered GANs are employed for creating realistic videos and enhancing visual effects in movies.


Keras vs Tensorflow: Features

Before you choose between Keras and TensorFlow, you need to understand their features and strengths. They are both highly sophisticated libraries that have unique aspects.


Core Features of Keras


Core Features of Keras To Empower businesses


  • Modular Building Blocks: Keras provides a comprehensive set of pre-defined neural network layers and model components. These function as standardized building blocks for constructing complex deep-learning architectures. This modular approach facilitates rapid development and iteration. Developers can focus on the essential aspects of model design without burdening themselves with intricate low-level implementation details.


  • Streamlined API: Keras offers ease of use and accessibility through its intuitive and concise API. The platform facilitates rapid prototyping and experimentation. It reduces the time taken to test and refine diverse model architectures and parameter configurations. Clear error messages and a structured codebase further contribute to efficient debugging and iteration cycles.


  • Flexible Model Development: Keras extends beyond a mere collection of pre-built components. Its inherent flexibility is a potent feature. It allows developers to combine existing layers in novel ways, and construct models tailored to specific requirements. Tools built using Keras seamlessly integrate with other deep learning frameworks. Keras is perfect for developing unique and highly specialized models that address complex and niche applications.


  • Supports Multiple Backends: Keras API gives developers flexibility in choosing the backend that best suits their needs. Keras is designed to be compatible with various backend engines, with TensorFlow and Theano being the primary choices. This flexibility enables users to switch between backends seamlessly, depending on their preferences or specific project requirements.


  • Efficient GPU and TPU Acceleration: Keras is capable of leveraging the capabilities of backend engines like TensorFlow. It facilitates seamless integration with Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and Tensor Processing Units (TPUs). This accelerates the training process, significantly reducing computation time for deep learning models.


  • Vibrant Community: Keras thrives within a dynamic and supportive community of developers and researchers. Extensive documentation, readily available tutorials, and an active network of technical support are available. Furthermore, the platform undergoes continuous development and brings innovative features and functionalities to remain at the forefront.


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Core Features of TensorFlow


Core Features of TensorFlow To Empower businesses


  • Powerful Computation Engine: TensorFlow has a robust computational engine. Utilizing multidimensional arrays known as tensors, the platform facilitates the manipulation of data, enabling the execution of complex mathematical operations. Furthermore, TensorFlow’s distributed computing capabilities empower seamless scaling across multiple CPUs and GPUs.


  • Deep Learning Development: TensorFlow excels in the development and deployment of complex deep learning models. It provides high-levelAPIs,s such as tf.keras. User-friendly building blocks and pre-defined components for constructing and training deep learning models contribute to swift development. A vast library of pre-built layers, optimizers, and loss functions caters to diverse deep-learning tasks.


  • TensorBoard Visualization: TensorBoard, is a built-in visualization tool in TensorFlow. It allows users to monitor and visualize various aspects of model training and evaluation. TensorBoard provides interactive visualizations of metrics, model graphs, and histograms, aiding in performance analysis and debugging.


  • Comprehensive Ecosystem: TensorFlow provides an extensive ecosystem of tools and libraries that enhance different aspects of the machine learning workflow. This includes TensorFlow Lite for mobile and embedded devices, TensorFlow.js for web-based applications, and TensorFlow Extended (TFX) for end-to-end machine learning production pipelines.


  • AutoGraph & Eager Execution: TensorFlow supports static computation using AutoGraph. This converts Python control flow into TensorFlow graph operations. It also provides dynamic computation using eager execution. Eager execution allows for more intuitive model development and easier debugging. TensorFlow’s core computational engine proves valuable for tasks such as solving complex equations, simulating physical systems, and optimizing functions.


  • Extensive Pre-trained Models: TensorFlow provides access to a collection of pre-trained models through the TensorFlow Hub. This makes it easier for developers to leverage existing models for various tasks such as image recognition and NLP. TensorFlow readily integrates with diverse software libraries, hardware platforms, and cloud environments.


Also Read - Secrets Of Data Augmentation For Improved Deep & Machine Learning


Keras vs Tensorflow: Architecture and Components

Keras and TensorFlow offer open-source libraries for deep learning model development. They have different architectures and components which make them suitable for creating various AI applications.


Keras Architecture and Components

It is a neural network library that supports multiple backends. Keras has a robust architecture that can be applied to a wide range of ML tasks.

  • Building blocks: The core of Keras lies in its modular components called layers. These layers represent specific operations or transformations performed on data, such as convolutions, activations, or pooling.


  • Stacking layers: Models are constructed by stacking these layers in a sequential or functional manner. This allows for flexible and intricate architectures, catering to diverse tasks and data types.


  • Model hierarchy: Complex models can be further organized into sub-models or nested layers, promoting code reusability and modularity.


  • Loss Functions: Keras supports various loss functions that quantify the difference between predicted and true values during training. Users can choose a suitable loss function based on the nature of their specific machine-learning task.


  • Callbacks: Keras provides a callback system that allows users to customize the behavior of the training process. Callbacks can be used to implement functionalities such as model checkpointing, early stopping, and visualization.


TensorFlow Architecture and Components

TensorFlow’s architecture is designed to be highly flexible and scalable. It can act as an engine to power machine-learning projects of all types.


  • Data Flow Graph: TensorFlow’s core is the data flow graph. Each step, represented by a node, performs a specific operation on the data (tensors). Edges connect these nodes, defining the flow of information through the graph. This visual approach simplifies model construction and facilitates efficient computation.


  • TensorFlow Library: The TensorFlow library provides a set of functions and operations for building machine learning models. It includes functionalities for defining computational graphs, executing operations, and optimizing computations for various hardware devices.


  • Tensors: Tensors are the fundamental data structures in TensorFlow. They are multi-dimensional arrays representing the input and output data in a computational graph. Tensors flow through the graph, carrying data between operations.


  • Sessions: TensorFlow uses sessions to execute computational graphs. A session encapsulates the state of the TensorFlow runtime and runs the computations defined in the graph. During a session, tensors are evaluated, and the model parameters are updated through optimization.


  • Estimators: Estimators provide a high-level API for building complete machine-learning models. Estimators encapsulate the entire model, including training, evaluation, and prediction. They are particularly useful for large-scale distributed training.


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Keras vs Tensorflow: Pricing Models

Keras is available for free under the Apache 2.0 license. There is no cost to use Keras, and there are no subscription fees or other hidden costs.

TensorFlow, like Keras, is an open-source framework developed by Google and is free to use.

Keep in mind that the use of cloud platforms such as Google Cloud AI Platform, Amazon SageMaker, or Microsoft Azure Machine Learning comes at a cost.


Keras vs Tensorflow: Learning Curve

Both Keras and TensorFlow have user-friendly high-level neural network APIs. They allow users to define models using a more intuitive and human-readable syntax.


Keras: Extensive Documentation and Tutorials

If you have some programming experience, especially with Python, picking up Keras will be much faster. Newcomers who have an understanding of linear algebra and statistics would find it easier. 

Those with prior experience with machine learning can learn the basics in about three weeks. There are plenty of Keras tutorials on the official site to aid quick learning. 


TensorFlow: Accessible API and Supportive Community 

TensorFlow may initially appear challenging due to its extensive capabilities. However, its flexibility, control, and deeper understanding of deep learning principles can be rewarding for dedicated learners. 

You must have prior experience with other programming languages and computational techniques. Those who can work consistently can learn TensorFlow in about eight weeks.

Keras vs Tensorflow: Comparison Summary 

Here’s a detailed comparison summary table for Keras vs TensorFlow. 


Aspect Keras TensorFlow
Overview High-level neural network library written in Python. Runs on top of TensorFlow, CNTK, MXNet, PyTorch. Open-source software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs, primarily for ML and deep neural networks.
Use Cases
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • Reinforcement Learning 
  • Transfer Learning
  • Image Recognition
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Generative Models and Image Synthesis
Core Features
  • Modular Building Blocks 
  • Streamlined API
  • Flexible Model Development 
  • Supports Multiple Backends 
  • GPU and TPU Acceleration
  • Powerful Computation Engine
  • Deep Learning Development 
  • TensorBoard Visualization 
  • Comprehensive Ecosystem 
  • AutoGraph & Eager Execution
Architecture and Components
  • Modular components (layers) 
  • Stacking layers
  • Model hierarchy
  • Loss Functions
  • Callbacks
  • Data Flow Graph
  • TensorFlow Library
  • Tensors
  • Sessions
  • Estimators
Pricing Models Free, open-source under the Apache 2.0 license. Free, open-source. Costs associated with cloud platforms, if used.
Learning Curve Relatively easier for beginners, especially with Python background. Extensive documentation available. Steeper learning curve, but offers deep learning understanding. Accessible API and supportive community.


Keras vs Tensorflow: Which One is Right for You?


Keras vs Tensorflow Which is right for you


Keras is an excellent choice for businesses that are new to machine learning or for projects requiring rapid prototyping. 

Its user-friendly interface and high-level API make it ideal for developers who prefer simplicity and a shorter learning curve. Keras is particularly well-suited for smaller-scale applications and projects where ease of use and speed are priorities. 

Its flexibility in model development, combined with support for multiple backends, makes Keras a versatile tool for a wide range of applications, especially in natural language processing and simpler forms of image and video analysis.


TensorFlow, on the other hand, is more suitable for businesses focusing on large-scale, complex machine learning projects. 

Its powerful computation engine and comprehensive ecosystem offer the flexibility and tools needed for intricate model development and large dataset processing. 

TensorFlow shines in scenarios requiring deep neural network applications, such as advanced image recognition, predictive analytics, and working with generative models. 

It’s ideal for businesses that have access to experienced machine learning engineers and for projects where scalability and performance optimization are crucial.

Also Read - Navigating the AI Landscape Benefits of Machine Learning Consulting


Decision Factors:

  1. Project Complexity: Choose TensorFlow for complex, large-scale projects; opt for Keras for simpler, smaller applications.
  2. Development Speed: Keras is better for rapid prototyping and development.
  3. Expertise Level: TensorFlow requires more expertise; Keras is beginner-friendly.
  4. Use Case Specificity: TensorFlow for advanced tasks like predictive analytics and complex image recognition; Keras for general machine learning applications.
  5. Scalability Needs: TensorFlow is more scalable for large datasets and extensive computation.


Kanerika: The Leading AI/ML Implementation Partner in the US

AI/ML Implementation has become a necessity for enterprises that look for effortless automation and business growth. But implementing AI/ML includes multiple steps that require careful strategy and planning:

  1. Strategic Alignment: Ensuring your AI initiatives align with your overall business goals.
  2. Technical Expertise: Accessing the right skill set to navigate complex AI landscapes.
  3. Resource Management: Efficiently allocating resources for sustainable and scalable growth.
  4. Innovation and Adaptability: Staying ahead of technological trends and adapting to market changes.


This is where partnering with Kanerika can make a difference. 

With their expertise in developing and implementing AI solutions, Kanerika’s team can help you achieve your AI/ML goals. 

By choosing Kanerika, you gain a partner committed to your success. 

Book a free consultation today!

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Is Keras part of TensorFlow?

Yes, Keras is integrated within TensorFlow as tf.keras. It acts as TensorFlow's high-level API, providing a more user-friendly and simplified interface for building and training neural networks.

Can I use Keras without TensorFlow?

Initially, Keras was designed to be an independent neural network library with support for multiple backends, including TensorFlow, Theano, and CNTK. However, since TensorFlow 2.0, Keras has been more tightly integrated with TensorFlow. While standalone Keras still exists, it's more common to use Keras through TensorFlow.

Which is better: PyTorch, Keras, or TensorFlow?

This depends on your specific needs. PyTorch is known for its dynamic computation graph and is popular in research. Keras, integrated within TensorFlow, is user-friendly and great for beginners and rapid prototyping. TensorFlow is powerful for large-scale machine learning projects and has a broader range of tools and community support.

What is Keras used for?

Keras is used for building and training deep learning models. It's particularly effective for rapid prototyping, and due to its simplicity and high-level API, it's widely used in natural language processing, image and video analysis, and other machine learning tasks.

Is Keras faster than TensorFlow?

Keras, as part of TensorFlow (tf.keras), offers a high-level API with simplicity that might slightly reduce performance for complex tasks. Pure TensorFlow, being a lower-level API, can be more efficient for these complex tasks due to its detailed and fine-grained control.

Should I install Keras or TensorFlow first?

If you're using TensorFlow 2.0 or later, you only need to install TensorFlow. Keras comes integrated as tf.keras. For standalone Keras with a different backend, you would install Keras separately, but this is less common now.

Does OpenAI use TensorFlow or PyTorch?

OpenAI has used both TensorFlow and PyTorch for various projects. The choice depends on the specific requirements of each project, with PyTorch often being favored for its dynamic computation graph and ease of use in research settings.

Is Keras slower than TensorFlow?

For complex models, TensorFlow might offer better performance due to its lower-level API, which provides more control over the model architecture and execution. However, for many applications, the difference in speed is not significant, and Keras (as tf.keras) offers a more user-friendly approach.

Is Keras beginner-friendly?

Yes, Keras is known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface, making it an excellent choice for beginners in deep learning and neural network modeling.

Is Keras free to use?

Yes, Keras, particularly as part of TensorFlow (tf.keras), is open-source and free to use under the Apache 2.0 license.