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Impact of AI on Web Development: What Programmer Analysts Should Know

Dec 27, 2016

programming & software development courses


Self-driving cars, computers that can beat humans at video games, algorithms that can create original art and write stories… artificial intelligence (AI) has made incredible leaps forward over the last few years.  No matter which sector you plan to work in after college, AI will influence job growth and the way we live in unimaginable ways.

For students pursuing studies in computer programming and web development, AI typically holds a special interest. Professionals in these fields are often seeking ways to implement and learn about new developments in AI.

We’ve pulled together three artificial intelligence trends that are influencing the world of web development and the way we engage online. Here are three innovations in AI programmer analyst students should know about.

Chatbots & the New Normal of Virtual Assistants

When people think about conversing with their computers and smartphones, they typically think of Siri and Cortana—the virtual assistants that help you search for information online, schedule tasks, send emails, etc.  These voice-activated assistants use AI to learn from each interaction, with the goal of being able to anticipate and better respond to our individual needs.

This kind of seamless, personalized interaction is quickly becoming the norm as businesses and organizations of all kinds invest in smarter, more intuitive interfaces for online users. Chatbots are a good example. Chatbots are also a kind of artificially intelligent personal assistant, designed to help us get tasks done more efficiently online.

More and more retailers are developing chatbots to help consumers find products that best match their interests and needs, support them through the buying process, and help with returns—all the while learning and evolving with each interaction.

Here’s a chatbot example developed by fashion retailer, Nordstrom, which functions through Facebook Messenger.  The bot helps consumers find, select, and purchase items, without having to spend hours browsing through store web pages. In this example, a consumer states their budget and what type of sneaker they’re looking for and the chatbot finds the right options:

programming & software development courses

AI and Machine Learning as a Service

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence wherein computers have the capacity to learn and evolve without being explicitly programmed.  These are computer programs that can build and improve on themselves with exposure to new data.

Wikipedia has developed such a program with its recently launched Objective Revision Evaluation Service (ORES). ORES uses artificial intelligence to help Wikipedia editors identify and edit problematic articles more quickly and efficiently.

To put things in perspective, Wikipedia is edited about 500,000 times each day. Volunteers have to review all of those edits to verify their authenticity. Imagine having to sort through all of that data manually? With ORES, editors don’t have to. The service sorts the edits by itself, and weeds out the ones most likely to be damaging. And by comparing examples of articles before and after editing, ORES continuously refines its ability to accurately flag problems. It has effectively reduced editing time by 90%. Imagine what other applications a service like ORES could have, assisting humans with tasks that require intelligence, speed, and ongoing learning!

Self-designing Websites

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about artificial intelligence and website design.  The Grid and Wix ADI, two of the biggest players in this space, use complex logic and algorithms to generate customized websites in a matter of minutes. An “assistant” simply asks the user questions about what kind of site they need to create, and automatically suggests the most appropriate branding, layout, content, etc.

In the case of The Grid, the assistant’s name is Molly, and this is how she’s introduced on the website:

programming & software development courses

The big question is, will self-designing websites put developers and designers out of business? Most experts say no. Grid and WIX ADI are great for a small business or individual in need of a brochure style website. Larger organizations who need bespoke design and architecture will definitely need the specialized skills of a programmer.

Plus, even in simple website building, AI is far from flawless.  Users are limited to certain selections of layout and colour—preset constraints determined by the design team. Plus, some reviewers are saying that the use of JavaScript polyfills for increased flexibility make some AI websites load too slowly to meet Google’s preferred loading time of under 5 seconds.

What’s the takeaway? AI is a long way from replacing the expertise, creativity, and adaptability of skilled developers.  But web developers and designers will need to get comfortable incorporating AI into their work, and staying on top of emerging technologies.

Interested in learning more about web development and computer programming? Looking for a reputable programmer analyst college in Montreal?

Take a look at Herzing College’s Programmer Analyst training program, delivered at our Montreal campus.  This program takes just 15 months to complete and covers a wide range of programming and software development courses, including Object Programming, Client-side Web Development, Server-side Web Development, Programming Logic, and Database Concepts & Applications.

Visit the program page for a complete list of courses, possible programmer analyst careers, and to chat live with an academic advisor. We’re here to help!

Click Here to Visit Programmer Analyst Program Page

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