A website is your gateway to the global marketplace. It shows to everyone what you are, what you stand for and what you do, the way you want it to be. Since the dot-com boom and bust, we witnessed an unprecedented evolution and saw how the expansion of the internet space can sometimes be mind-boggling, to say the least. From hundreds to thousands to millions of websites that popped up over the years, the Internet did not go down with the dot-com bust, it grew and developed into a really complex ecosystem that few thought possible thirty years ago.
One of the more recent developments in technology is artificial intelligence (AI). These days, it is not uncommon to hear about software developers working to implement AI technologies in their applications for their companies. An example of one such company is ZenDesk, which leverages AI-augmented customer support to improve the overall customer service experience through automation, recommendations, and predictions with artificial intelligence algorithms.
But wait you say. How is that different from automation that is already done in web applications? The answer is in advanced neural networks, which is something like a computer simulation that attempts to model the processes of a human brain in order to imitate the way in which it learns. When a web application for instance leverages on advanced neural networks, it has the ability to teach themselves by considering past examples or experiences through deep learning, and generally without preprogramming by us humans, to use a corrective feedback loop to solve problems and at the same time improve their performance.
This process, known as deep learning, is a type of machine learning that uses data representations, rather than the task-specific algorithms we use in web development or other traditional software. As you can imagine, deep learning has uses in applications such as speech recognition, natural language processing, computer vision and audio recognition (Think Amazon Alexa or Google Home). The goal of these algorithms can provide pretty stunning results and make web applications perform human activities like listening, viewing and thinking, making resolving real-time issues much much faster.
Would Artificial Intelligence Replace Jobs in Web Development?
There have been several arguments of how this could result into a very disturbing outcome for the human race. Imagine a robot that behaves like a human being. With a cognitive system, an AI-driven product or being, if you will, is most certain to cause huge disruptions, especially employment. And yes, your job as a web developer is not necessarily secure.
The stakes are high. The results are impressive – just ask Google. They have engineers to implement artificial intelligence in Google Mail as well as other products, with their primary goal of making life easier for us all. With big tech leading the way, do we really want to be left behind? No legit web/app/software development company would want to say they’re clueless about artificial intelligence as far as web development is concerned. The integration of AI and web development to bolster user experience and beyond is inevitable.
Just think about it for a second, what happens when you go to the store? You’d expect the store staff to be around to assist you when necessary. When you’re shopping for a blazer or wedding dress for instance, you’d normally have someone assist and explain things to you and in general, with a purchase or not, you’d walk out with an understanding of the products you got your hands on. In web development, we sometimes use a template designer to make changes to a template. With AI, we can have AI ask us about our preferences with regard to colors, branding, content and layout, and once you have answered those questions, the template designer, will automatically go on to create a website template based on your inputs and deep learning algorithms.
Chatbots are another example. They have made it possible for e-commerce specialists to predict customer reactions and as such facilitate superior communication with the customers by making the whole process easy and hassle-free. Because users of the site will actually find it easier to communicate with the website and staff, it can help drive conversion and customer service satisfaction.
Artificial intelligence allows developers to become better adept at catering to users’ needs but artificial intelligence can also phase out or reduce certain jobs. Because its understanding of customer moods and preferences is going to increase and increase, there may be less need for entry-level web developer positions, especially those with little to no artificial intelligence know-how.
Advancements in Artificial Intelligence
Apart from customer user experience, artificial intelligence can be deployed in the detection of fraud by data analysis of fraudulent behaviors. An AI-powered system can track links and possible origins at a much faster time than a team of human beings. The machines don’t have to sleep and can be made to process data faster with evolving technology. By analyzing data with a cognitive system, fraudulent actions can be stopped in their tracks before they start doing damage.
With big data, companies who are seeking ways to manage data, could use artificial intelligence to process data at a faster rate, making creation, update, retrieval, recovery, and organization of huge amounts of data less tedious and much more efficient. The millions and billions of data that need to be analyzed can take forever and we don’t want inefficient data extraction, analysis and compression of raw information to assist in decision-making to be a pain in modern web applications.
Introduction of artificial intelligence to industries from hotel bookings to tractors and farm equipment are all testament to minimizing waste, reducing errors and improving production. Artificial intelligence can transform the face of a government, a business and even an entire economy from the ground up.
Here are a few examples of how artificial intelligence works with web development:
AI-powered Content Feeds
Gone are the days where static websites are the only option. We already are seeing dynamic websites but website content of the future are going to change as per the interests and requirements of the visitor.
Microsoft’s Hummingbird app uses AI to deliver a personalized news feed
Great examples include Microsoft, Bloomberg, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These companies analyze literally thousands of variables, and can predict with a certain amount of accuracy the content a user of a certain demographic will love. It doesn’t help that their content feed emerge with different algorithms emerge every week, improving the effectiveness and applicability of artificial intelligence.
Responsive Web Interface with Chatbots AI
The chatbots are here. You just have to look at how some websites of today allow users to directly communicate at the click of a button, which can be found, in most sites, at the bottom right corner.
Heck sometimes you don’t even need to click on anything. Someone on the site would automatically message you to ask you if you need help, with initial help coming from AI. Without a chatbot, the user would have to jump through hoops to get to connect with your sales or support team.
Virtual Reality Technology
Let’s face it, a traditional web developer would not bother with virtual reality technology – there’s too many technical information required for it to happen. But for those who want to make it happen, can, in my humble opinion, create a lot of value. It not only taps into a low competition, high volume channel, and creates a unique function into the product, it’s also extremely advantageous for everyone involved – both the folks open to using virtual reality by tapping into pre-built demand, and for users, who view much nicer product or service listings with better visuals and descriptions.
Websites with virtual reality will not only have your typical text and images, they will provide a significantly different viewing experience to users. Web developers who ride the virtual reality and the augmented reality bandwagons, create complete 3-dimensional worlds of knowledge about the intended service or product.
So to summarize:
- Artificial intelligence in web development is a digital revolution
- Web development is moving from static-centric to AI-centric activities
- Web developers embody the hybrid between data scientist and coder needed to thrive in the age of artificial intelligence
Good luck, web developers!