Artificial intelligence is no longer in the realm of sci-fi movies and TV shows like Star Trek or Westworld. It has well and truly jumped into the mainstream news headlines.
And the headlines are often contradictory. AI is either a technological leap into a prosperous world filled with sophisticated tools enhancing human endeavor. Or mass unemployment in a society where robots rule, reminiscent of Skynet in the Terminator movies.
Whether you’re on Team Zuckerberg and support this futuristic technology or you’re on Team Musk and want to ban killer robots, artificial intelligence has already crept into the world of web development. In fact, there are many WordPress plugins that are using artificial intelligence.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI is technology that enables machines to carry out tasks that humans need intelligence to do. There are plenty of examples of AI in real life – self-driving cars, smart home devices, and music and movie recommendation services.
Most AI examples you hear about rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. Using these technologies, machines can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in it. This subset of AI is known as machine learning,
Before machine learning came along, computers could only be given a set of rules to follow and operate within a defined set of parameters. Now, thanks to AI and algorithms, machines can learn from data and adapt to the environment they’re operating in.
This means that the more data fed to a machine, the more it learns and improves.
Unlike humans, AI doesn’t have to sleep and won’t make the same mistake twice. It can also access vast amounts of digital data in seconds, while our brains cannot.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. AI is being used in productive ways to improve how we use and manage WordPress websites.
WordPress Plugins That Use AI
While AI is certainly an exciting field of technology, it’s still pretty new. As such, there are few plugins that use AI and machine learning. The ones listed below are still fairly experimental but do provide advancements in SEO, customer service, and security.
Like a shop assistant in a physical store, this plugin lets you add a virtual assistant to your website that can help guide customers and sell products. This plugin provides a smart visual tool, kind of like mind mapping, that helps you easily create complex AI for your assistant so you can pre-program actions and interactions on your site.
How can you be in two places at once? Easy. With this clever plugin that hooks into Messenger. Create a bot that can automatically answer your visitors’ questions instantly in real-time, even when you’re not online. With this plugin, visitors can ask your bot questions about products and support, ask for blog posts published on your site, and even search for information on your site.
WordLift is marketed as “A WordPress Plugin that does what an SEO expert would do.” But what is that exactly? Basically, this plugin analyzes the articles and words on your site, transforming your text into machine-friendly content that helps to improve audience engagement and increase your organic traffic.
The plugin builds an “internal vocabulary” for your site, which acts as both a reference and a search magnet for your visitors. And for content creators, it suggests contextual facts, links and media for creating richer and more engaging content, all while optimizing it for search. A win-win if you want to better organize your content and improve your visibility in search.
This cloud-based, AI-driven plugin creates new taxonomies for your site that enable information to self-organize based on contextual value. This makes link lists and menus contextual and dynamic, making your site “sticky” and visitors more like to convert. The plugin author claims it improves search results by 10 times.
Aimojo is a redesign of Affinitomics and hasn’t been updated in two years, so if you decided to use this plugin, try it out on a local development or staging site first.
Kindred Posts uses artificial intelligence to learn how your website visitors use your site and recommends content based on their interests. It requires next-to-no setup – simply activate the plugin and drag a widget into your theme to start recommending content.
While there are plenty of decent (and not so decent) related posts plugins around, what sets Kindred Posts apart is how it uses AI to learn how your visitors interact with your content and suggest posts they are more likely to want to read.
A cool feature of this plugin is the ability to integrate it with Google Analytics. Simply add your tracking code to the settings page and you can start monitoring what recommendations visitors are reading.
Watsonfinds uses “sentiment analysis” to provide detailed insight into the emotions your content may elicit in visitors. The plugin adds an icon to the WordPress text editor so you can scan your pages, posts, product descriptions and comments. Each scan offers insights into how your content evokes joy, sadness, anger, disgust and fear in your visitors, along with a percentage score for each emotion. You can then use these insights to modify and improve your content so that it conveys your intended message.
This content curation plugin lets you quickly discover interesting content and customize it to suit your niche before publishing it on your site. MyCurator’s cloud AI module searches RSS, Twitter and Google alert sources for content and classifies their relevance to you after some simple training. This means you can weed out 90% of topics that you’re not interested in or might think are irrelevant. You can also train this plugin by upvoting or downvoting the posts it finds.
Similar to related posts plugins, Primal helps you display relevant content to your visitors. Using AI, it collects information about your content and pulls in pages from across the web, including news and videos, that are tailored to each page you create. Using machine learning, this plugin learns the interests of your visitors based on their clicks so it can deliver more relevant and engaging content over time.
AI isn’t about to steal web development jobs any time soon, but you can certainly make the most of how it can provide better contextual content, help your visitors and protect your site against security threats with the plugins listed above.
Don’t forget to check our plugin marketplace for more AI plugins, code and scripts.
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