As technology continues to innovate and develop, we know it can be tricky to keep up to date with all the jargon being thrown around.

 

So, to keep you in the loop, we put together a little ‘tech term’ guide for you.

AI

Common definitions of artificial intelligence describe it as “the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.” AI systems typically demonstrate a number of behaviours including, problem solving, planning, knowledge and learning.

According to ZDnet, there are two broad types of AI: narrow AI and general AI.

Narrow AI refers to things we see computers do daily, being programmed to carry out specific tasks, for example Siri. General AI is different in that it is “a flexible form of intelligence capable of learning how to carry out vastly different tasks …”. Think AI you see in films like The Terminator. So whilst we mostly have narrow AI right now, some experts argue we could see more of general AI becoming a reality soon.

Machine Learning

Many people continue to confuse AI and machine learning and whilst machine learning is indeed a form of AI, they are not the same.

Machine learning provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being directly programmed. Imagine a computer system that is given a huge chunk of data, which it then uses to learn how to carry out a specific task. The main aim of machine learning is to make computers learn without much assistance from humans.

Live Chat

Live chat technology sees consumers being able to interact with companies without physically being on the phone or in-store with them. When visiting a company’s website, customers can start a chat session by typing a messaging into the chat window.

Live chat is typically implemented through code that is inserted on selected pages of a website and organizations can decide which pages to make live chat available.

As handy as live chat has become, there are limitations to the technology including the fact that many live chat windows are not compatible with mobile devices. There’s also the fact that when using live chat, web visitors must stay in the chat box or the entire conversation will be deleted. This can be annoying for those who may have bad Internet connection.

Chatbots

Contrary to what many may think, Chatbot tech is very different to Live Chat. Chatbots are “software applications that use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to understand what a human wants, and guides them to their desired outcome with as little work for the end user as possible”.

Well developed and built chatbots:

  • Use existing data to understand questions asked
  • Analyse correct answers through a ‘training period’
  • Use machine learning to learn context, which means it is constantly improving its ability to answer questions going forward.

Chatbot tech has been rapidly adopted since 2016 when Facebook demonstrated what chatbots could do through its Messenger app. More recently we’ve seen brands adopt AI chatbots. According to Drift, an AI chatbot can understand language outside of the demands it was pre-programmed with. This means they continue to learn based on the data and input it receives. AI chatbots are increasingly favoured by marketers as they can make predictions on what visitors are looking for on a company’s website.

AR

AR is a technology that expands and changes the perception of our view of the real world, by adding layers of digital information on to it. AR allows you to move freely, while super-imposing computer-generated images over whatever you are looking at.

Mostly used in apps for smart-phones and tablets where there are endless possibilities as to how it can be used. According to some tech writers, “phone-based AR software has been recognising surroundings and providing additional information about what it sees for years now, offering live translation of text or pop-up reviews of restaurants as you look at them.”

VR

Virtual reality uses computer technology to create a simulated environment where, instead of viewing a screen in front of them, users are immersed and able to interact with 3D worlds. In some instances, other senses like taste, smell and hearing are simulated as well. Most VR tech is identified by headsets such as the Oculus and the Sony PlayStation VR.

Wayfinding

Wayfinding technology is digital information that assists with guiding people through a physical environment and the navigation of indoor spaces.

Internet of Things (IoT)

At it’s most basic, IoT is connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). Everything from our homes, cars, cities and even pets can be connected to the internet, hence IoT.

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Do you have any tech terms you’d like explained?  Comment below and we’ll make sure to include it in our next blog!

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