Artificial Intelligence (AI) is predicted to be the future of technology, but how will it be used on the web?
Most websites have interactive elements, menus, buttons, links and so on that takes people to various areas of a site. These are mechanical non-intelligent features (no matter what the developer may claim). A checkout button always goes to the checkout area of an ecommerce site, and a link in a menu takes users to a fixed page.
Artificial intelligence, like human intelligence, learns from experience and can adapt its behaviour. Some sites on the web are using artificial intelligence already, and AI systems are being developed that will control future websites.
The Grid is a website builder that uses artificial intelligence to adjust the display of a website. Upload an image and The Grid changes typography and surrounding coloured elements to contrast with the image’s colour palette. The AI can also automatically crop the image to fit a display area.
Add a product and a price, and a shopping cart is automatically created to sell the product.
The aim of the founders of The Grid is to create a system where websites build themselves. The question that a The Grid system poses is: can website designers be replaced by The Grid’s artificial intelligence? As The Grid is still in beta stage, no web designer’s job is threatened yet.
Google’s RankBrain is an algorithm that tries to discern the intention of searches. It attempts to answer ambiguous or difficult to understand phrases used in search queries. RankBrain is designed to learn and then update itself.
Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Google Search on Android are voice recognition systems that are used to search for information on the internet as well as data on the mobile device or computer. Currently these systems incorporate AI but they are not very advanced. They are set to get smarter in the future. Apple has recently acquired a Cambridge based company Vocal IQ which has developed an artificial intelligence speech system that could enhance Siri.
Many websites have search boxes. Adding AI software to search routines could make searching easier with fewer “no results found” messages as the website, instead, uses intelligence to understand what the user may have been searching for.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things describes systems where objects have electronic sensors that form a network of devices that are connected to each other and the internet. An example of this is a network that uses an internet app to turn on the lighting and heating ready for when the owner gets home.
Websites are normally developed with human users in mind. Future visitors to your website could be objects. If your website sells razor blades, a bathroom cabinet could be ordering them. A garden hose goes to the BBC weather website to check the weather, and then waters the garden if no rain is forecast.
Our own website features a dynamic weather system that checks the weather forecast from Yahoo in your area (yes, you) and displays that weather using CSS – look at the header of the site. We did this back in 2012, so we’re kinda special here at Engage Web.
Customer service, whether through email, chat rooms or call centres, is handled by humans. This could change. Companies such as LBM have developed AI systems that can hold conversations with humans. These programs can be used to provide virtual customer service assistants available on the support section of a website.
Artificial Intelligence is set to pay an increasingly role on the web. Most websites currently do not need artificial intelligence, but this may change in the not too distant future.