Data science is a term that covers a lot of ground. It involves studies and research that have to do with the creation and management of data. That includes how data is used to accomplish tasks often associated with web design and management.
A key element in the data science of today is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Within the realm of AI, you also have Machine Learning (ML) and how it differs from a further subset known as Deep Learning (DL). There’s no doubt that AI and its subsets are changing the way that data is utilized in many fields. That includes the field of web design. Here are some examples of how AI is changing things right now, and what is likely to happen in the next decade or so.
Understanding The Nature of Artificial Intelligence
AI refers to the development of a program or a piece of machinery that can think and reason with little to no input from a human. Rather than simply imitating human thought processes by drawing on data that are entered into the program, AI allows the machines or programs to reason and come up with solutions. That’s much different from software today that can only function within limits set by the programmer.
How important is this? The drawback to programming and web design up to this point is that it relies on human interpretation of data. With AI, that’s no longer a factor. The software or machine can reason or think through an issue based on the data available and projections of what needs to happen next.
How Does Web Design Occur Now?
Let’s consider how web design has traditionally been approached. The process usually starts by seeking information via focus groups and surveys. That data is assimilated and organized by a human or a team of humans.
From there, the coding process begins. Eventually, a prototype for the code is completed and subjected to beta-testing. Assuming all goes well, the software emerges from testing and is made available for use.
While the process is effective, it’s not without flaws. There’s the potential for vulnerabilities to be introduced inadvertently into code and end up in the final design.
That’s why we have security updates and new releases for different types of software. Proponents of AI point out that this new approach offers the potential to create code and sites that are more secure than anything we’ve known in the past.
Changing from Focus Groups and Surveys to Data Analysis
How would AI function differently from focus groups and current methods? Data is still collected, but AI demands a more in-depth analysis of data related to current Internet use.
Along with the analysis comes the ability to improve coding, create more security, and streamline the creation process. In many ways, AI removes much of the guesswork about what will enhance designs and attract more attention from users and search engines alike.
The Impact on the Use of Code
Web designers rest easy. Coding is not going away anytime soon. It will remain an integral part of the creation of website designs and various types of apps for the foreseeable future. What will happen is that the coding will not involve a human starting from scratch or altering the code associated with existing software.
What does this mean for users, businesses, and government entities? Some of the threats that are currently found in every corner of the Internet will become obsolete. That won’t happen because someone found a fix for a vulnerability; the vulnerability won’t be there in the first place.
Think of what that means in terms of preventing the current tidal wave of breaches that make it possible to alter data or steal it for unauthorized use. The risks to website owners or app developers are minimized, client and other proprietary data are protected, and conducting business online is free of at least some of the pitfalls of the past.
New Versions of Popular Software or Apps?
The ML and possibly the DL subsets of AI won’t just change how new software is designed and decide why a menu on a website is arranged a certain way. It will also influence how updates to software and apps already in use come about.
In many instances, web-building software will be more sophisticated than ever, since it will handle more tasks that used to require some sort of manual intervention. That means small to mid-sized business owners are now able to build functional and appealing websites on a smaller budget.
Does This Mean Fewer Opportunities to Work in Web Design?
One of the fears surrounding AI is that it will displace current coders and designers. After all, technological advances usually mean some jobs go away as others take their place. Those who work in the areas of coding and design need not fear. If anything, AI may mean there are more jobs for those who are willing to expand their skill sets.
Even as AI takes on tasks that have required human intervention, expect other tasks to need the touch and creativity of a person. There are emerging tasks that don’t exist today that will come about as a result of AI. Someone will need to take care of those tasks, meaning people who are experienced with web design will have more to do.
The Bottom Line
The Internet is not static. Technology will continue to influence and change the way that websites, apps, and every aspect of it develop. Rather than something to be feared, AI and the subsets of ML and DL should be embraced. Ultimately, these resources open up new possibilities for making the Internet more useful and possibly safer than it’s ever been.