Over the past few years, AI has grown in leaps and bounds, becoming more accessible to the average developer through APIs like IBM Watson, Microsoft Bot Framework, Wit.ai, and many more. We’ve seen that even small app developers can employ AI implementation within their apps to provide a better experience for their customers. The benefits are clear, but, of course, there may also be some disadvantages of AI.
What AI Apps Can Do and How they Function
AI provides a level of automated intelligence that is built into apps to perform simple tasks such as voice recognition, natural language processing, and image / facial recognition. For example, an app might be able to transcribe your speech and display the text within the user interface – allowing you to use dictation without having to touch the screen (for instance).
AI can enable apps to perform human-like tasks such as: Taking pictures and detecting the number of people in them, their locations and facial expressions Recognizing objects within images/videos, reading text from documents Parsing handwritten text from paper documents Identifying specific sounds, music or TV shows based on a sample.
There are many different ways to implement AI within your app. Here are a few examples:
- APIs: This is one of the easiest ways for developers to integrate AI features into an app. IBM Watson offers a variety of voice recognition and natural language processing APIs that can be connected to any application or website via simple code.
- Bots: they add a level of automation within apps. They can be created through APIs, but they can also be implemented as stand-alone bots that respond to the user input and requests on their own using an application’s programming language (HTML5, Java etc.).
- Mobile: some AI is built into mobile operating systems (Android and iOS). Google’s Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa are all examples.
That said, there are some potential problems and AI implementation challenges that developers face:
- False-positive results: when the AI mistakes irrelevant information for a specific thing (for example, thinking that a picture of a cow is of a dog).
- Bad results with inconsistent inputs: when the AI doesn’t understand how to handle certain types of data (for example, words that it doesn’t recognize or sounds that it can’t identify).
- Complexity: AI implementation within an app may require some time and deep learning expertise, which may be a challenge for certain app owners.
Pros and Cons of AI Apps
The advantages and disadvantages of AI implemented within apps are not universal truths. They will depend on the specific case as each implementation varies from one to the next. It was found that developers who have already implemented AI into their apps tend to list more positive things as opposed to those who have not yet implemented it.
Here are some advantages that come with using AI within apps:
- Better customer experience– Through features such as voice command, natural language processing, image recognition, etc. It provides for an improved user experience. Better accuracy when compared to manual data entry—in the case of repetitive tasks or ones where there is a lot of data.
- Increased app security– Using facial recognition that can verify a user’s identity. Increased productivity and efficiency for the end-user by having a bot automate routine tasks within apps (such as transcribing voice to text).
- Efficiency– AI can help predict future usage, use of time, and resources which allows the app owner to schedule tasks.
There are also some disadvantages when it comes to implementing AI within your app (if not used correctly):
- Not useful for every type of data – The more complex the input, the less accurate results may be. If you use images, videos, or audio samples as inputs, bear in mind that they need to be clear enough to ensure quality results.
- Requires time and effort – There will be a learning curve both for you and end-users if they are using an application that has AI features implemented into it. The training process can also require additional testing before deployment.
- Potential security risks – By connecting services in ways that were not previously possible (such as having third parties access your databases), you increase the risk of security breaches. Before connecting your service to any other, make sure that it is secure and has the necessary level of protection.
AI can be a powerful tool in improving an app’s functionality and user experience, however, it demands time and effort from you and your team in order to do so successfully. It is important to note that AI will not solve every problem within an app— it can only be used with certain tasks (i.e. with repetitive actions).
As you make your decision on whether to implement AI into your app or not, bear in mind all of its advantages and disadvantages as well as the time and effort that may be required for you and your team.
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