The world of web development is undergoing a remarkable transformation thanks to the rising popularity of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the rise of ChatGPT. These technologies have revolutionised the way we interact with and develop websites.
ChatGPT is an intelligent language model, it enables websites to incorporate conversational interfaces that mimic human-like interactions. From chatbots and virtual assistants to recommendation systems and personalised content delivery, ChatGPT has opened up a world of possibilities for enhancing user experience on all types of websites.
You can try ChatGPT at https://chat.openai.com/
AI in general has become an indispensable tool for web developers around the world, not just at Absolute. It allows us to build intelligent systems that understand and respond to user queries, provide real-time assistance and automate mundane tasks. By taking advantage of AI in web development, we as developers can streamline processes, boost efficiency, and create websites that are smart, dynamic, adaptive and provide even better returns for our clients.
According to a survey conducted by GitHub on June 22nd 2023 with 500 US-based developers:
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI enable natural and intuitive conversations between users and websites. Visitors can ask questions, seek assistance, provide input in a conversational manner and immediately get answers. This level of engagement leads to enhanced user satisfaction, increased user retention and improved conversion rates – and we love boosting those! Most advanced AI chatbots are indistinguishable from a real person (which is quite scary!) and according to https://bloggingwizard.com, 23% of all chatbots are AI powered. That statistic was given on 1st January 2023 just before the boom of AI and ChatGPT so we can expect that number to most likely increase to the 30’s-40’s by the end of the year.
Personalisation and Recommendation Systems
AI can be used to intelligently and accurately promote products and services to the right people. For example, it is entirely possible for AI to decipher how a specific user interacts with a website and then change the layout of the website to work best for them whilst recommending products and services that fit their interpreted personality type.
Once corporations with vast amounts of data (e.g. Amazon) implement AI recommendations, you genuinely may start to get product suggestions before you even realise you need the product. Let’s take this article from 2012 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/) where Target figured out that a teenager was pregnant using shopping habits and data before her own father even knew. If Target could do that in 2012 before AI, what do you think their capabilities are today?
Natural Language Processing
AI can also be used for language translation on websites. Prior to the AI boom, when we created a worldwide website that needed language translation features, we would have to have a bunch of language files with different translations of the website in this. Nowadays, that’s old school and with a couple of keyboard strokes you can implement the ChatGPT language model into a website and have every single language available in seconds, all powered by ChatGPT.
However, AI is not just for the user of a website, it also provides huge benefits for website owners and admins. For example, it is possible for SEO meta tags to be generated through ChatGPT’s text summarisation, and content generation can come from ChatGPT too so you can focus your attention on other business priorities.
Automation and Efficiency
Certain tasks in web development can be mundane and repetitive, fortunately, AI can now assist with this. Before AI, if you had a spreadsheet of 1 million rows with data that needed parsing through, you would have to manually do this or spend time creating a script to do it for you. Now you can just paste the data into an AI model, tell it what to do and get the result in seconds.
Code generation and testing can also be done with AI, for example, if you ask ChatGPT to “Write me a hex code colour generator in JS” you will see the code appear before your very eyes. Fortunately, you still need the development experience to know what to do with that code and how it works, so a developer’s job is safe for now, but code generation saves a lot of developer time for simple, non-bespoke code blocks.
In a Forbes report (https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/02/19/what-netflixs-recommendation-systems-can-teach-us-about-the-computing-challenges-of-the-near-future/?sh=13b49e8d7489), it was noted that Netflix, using its AI-powered recommendation system, saved approximately $1 billion per year due to reduced churn. Not a bad little saving!
Ethical Considerations in AI-Driven Web Development
Ethical considerations are one of the most important aspects of AI-driven web development.
Privacy concerns arise as AI algorithms handle user data and make decisions based on personal information. Web developers must prioritise data privacy, implement robust security measures, and adhere to relevant regulations to safeguard user information. Additionally, bias in AI algorithms is a critical concern that needs careful attention.
Developers must actively work to mitigate biases in training data and algorithmic decision-making to ensure fair and unbiased user experiences. Transparency on how a user’s data is being used is also vital, as users should understand when they are interacting with AI systems and have access to information about how their data is being used.
“AI presents three major areas of ethical concern for society: privacy and surveillance, bias and discrimination, and perhaps the deepest, most difficult philosophical question of the era, the role of human judgement” – Michael Sandel, political philosopher and Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government
Future Trends and Opportunities
There is no doubt that AI will continue to develop and integrate further into society, but where do we think it will end up?
There’s a lot of benefits of AI that will come to light, the first is hyper-personalisation. Websites will adapt to an individual user’s preferences and behaviour and meet their unique needs. On top of that, you have AR and VR opportunities that we have already seen with Apple’s new Vision Pro announced on June 5th 2023 (https://www.apple.com/apple-vision-pro/).
It is rather difficult to accurately predict where AI will take us as it rapidly evolves and moulds itself within society, but we’re excited to see the opportunities this brings within the world of website development and digital marketing.