A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

You can’t really talk really about AI without mentioning automation. From the very instance we dreamed up the idea of robots, we began to imagine a society where everything was done for us. The word ‘robot’ actually originates from the Czech ‘robota’, meaning forced labour, and even today Slavic countries use near-identical words to mean ‘work’ or ‘job’.

But would you believe that the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) actually predates the world’s first robot? Back in 1961, the industrial robot Unimate began its job on a General Motors production line, but the evolution of AI began as early as the 1950s.

Much of that work was famously done by English mathematician Alan Turing – the very same man who is credited with breaking the German enigma machine in WW2, an achievement that ultimately lead to the creation of the computer.

Alan Turing

How is Artificial Intelligence used in Web Development?

Now let’s jump back to modern day. A growing number of businesses are implementing AI into their business models in order to increase profitability, or explore new methods that were unviable before such automation. Chat bots, personal assistants, forecasting tools, security protocols… you name it – artificial intelligence is steadily working its way into more and more areas of business.

How is Artificial Intelligence used in Web Development

It’s only natural to wonder about the implications of computer systems that can do this human work, even jobs that demand visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making. An alarming number of businesses are choosing to hire overseas web developers who use AI technology to lower costs.

These are the ways in which AI is already used in web development:

  1. Generating Content

It can be quite a challenge to publish fresh content month after month, year after year. Some companies prefer to have AI-generated content, which using machine-learning algorithms to produce the relevant content. This applies to not only text, but images and video, too!

AI programs use something called natural language generation (NLG) to come up with writing that is remarkably similar to that written by actual people. Whilst you’ll popularly see a huge amount of AI blog writing tools, the same technology can be used to write things such as business reports, customer predictions, and unique product recommendations.

  1. Customer Analysis

Ask any website development company and they’ll tell you that fully understanding your customer characteristics, preferences and intent is fundamental to the success of any online business. Providing a relevant experience for your customers is indeed a must for a proper SEO strategy.

In order to learn about this digital clientele, companies use AI systems to work through huge swathes of data pertaining to things like geographical location, interests, purchase history, site entry route, and anticipated needs. Information is gathering extremely quickly and AI can even help you to interpret those findings.

  1. Automating Repetitive Tasks

Using robots to save ourselves from monotonous tasks is the classic idea behind automation, so it’s no surprise that AI technology is saving web developers lots of time by handling the most repetitive tasks. Whilst humans can become bored and make errors, using AI for simple tasks means you get a consistent quality. This even applies to some areas of coding. Web development teams can use AI systems to work faster and again eliminate human error where possible.

Aside from the above responsibilities, artificial intelligence has been leveraged for such things as image processing, voice search tools and customer service bots. There are of course plenty of other ways that AI is being utilized, and there’s no doubt that the list will continue to grow.

Will Artificial Intelligence take over the Web Development World?

AI systems help web developers to complete certain tasks faster, and with greater accuracy. With that being said, there are still huge limitations in what artificial intelligence can achieve at this stage.

Will Artificial Intelligence take over the Web Development World

There’s no question that the realms of web development and AI are now firmly interwoven, yet the worry that this technology will take the place of entire web development companies is absurd, and here’s why:

  1. Lack of Creativity

Even though our current AI systems seem to mimic original thought, true creativity will always be a human feat. In the real world, someone still has to edit AI-generated content, and someone still has to OK the decisions made by these computer programs.

This fundamental lack of imagination means that we shouldn’t look at AI systems as a replacement for creative web development tasks, but simply an appendage of our own creative process.

  1. No Human Touch

As great as AI has become in a relatively short period of time, all of that progress is the result of human ingenuity. It’s a widely held belief that artificial intelligence can never truly achieve our humanity. Use an automated chat bot and you’ll probably feel the same way. An AI customer service experience may be fine for common queries, but things quickly fall apart when extra thought is required.

This extends beyond chat bots, of course. AI cannot respond with genuine emotion, which makes a lot of AI-generated content noticeably alien. When you’re trying to make your visitors feel comfortable, you have to have the human touch in your web development, something that AI is far from accomplishing.

  1. Privacy Concerns

For the very same reason AI technology is valuable for customer analysis, it’s also a massive privacy threat. Most of these tools are external and so integrating them into your website can bring with it nasty security risks. The term ‘machine learning’ appears quite harmless, but where do those lessons come from? AI requires data – yours, mine, and everyone else’s.

There are issues like data spillover, gathering data on people who weren’t part of the target group, and data repurposing, the practice of using that data beyond its original purpose. Artificially intelligent machines are bred to stay hungry, so there’s no potentially no limit to the private information they’ll eat up.

The ‘Threat’ of AI for Future Web Development

And so you can see, the dream of fully automated web development is exactly that – a dream! Whilst AI absolutely reduces the time and labour required on a considerable number of SEO and site design tasks, it’s certainly not going to conquer the web development industry.

Without the ability to think creatively, AI programs pose no threat to web developers, in much the same way they don’t threaten the jobs of content writers, graphic designers and digital marketers. So if you’re in need of such services, bypass the AI and head over to Shtudio, Sydney web developers with a human touch!