Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the web thanks to various companies, including Google. AI in the tech world is a supercomputer of connected hardware and software that mimicks the networks of neurons inside a human mind creating a system that analyzes information and learns. As Google engineer Jeff Dean states, “If you have lots and lots of these neurons and they’re all trained to pick up on different types of patterns, and there are other neurons that pick up on patterns that those neurons themselves have built on, you can build very complicated functions and systems that do pretty interesting things.”
And these interesting things can be done much better, faster and at a larger scale. This is the new underlying computing system to the Google empire. The intelligence can identify faces in photos, recognize spoken words, target ads and much, much more. AI can handle search queries much better than algorithms coded by hand. RankBrain, Google’s deep learning system, helps analyze the words and phrases that make up a search query and decide what other words and phrases carry the same meaning. We can already see the use of AI in advertising campaigns. Unilever tested it for its Knorr food with a text message platform that delivered recipes and tips based on user inquiries. Advertising firm M&C Saatchi placed an “evolving” poster in London that used an algorithm to effectively adaptive creative based on a person’s reaction through the use of cameras and facial recognition.
But does machine learning go too far? With all the advances AI has to offer, there is also a risk. The truth is that this new way of having technology “learn” means that the coding becomes more advanced than even the engineers that built the network. Engineers are still able to look into the algorithms but they may not understand or be able to explain why things are happening. There is a sense of a loss of control. This may open the company up to complaints and lawsuits should the network start producing unwanted results. It may also impact how advertisers conduct their SEO moving forward.
Google believes the benefits will outweigh the sacrifices. If the company does not embrace AI they will miss the opportunity to stay ahead of technological innovation. These brain-like algorithms are driving the future of search and are spreading across the entire tech world to such platforms as Facebook, Twitter and Skype. This is the way of the future – a world where machines will be making more of the decisions.