When you create a website, you first focus on generating content and promoting it on social networks to improve SEO and get more visits and then on performing A/B tests and heatmaps of your content to better understand the behavior of your visitors and improve conversion. In this context, if I start talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), it might sound like science fiction. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is quite possible that you already have a plugin on your website that is using machine learning or artificial. Let’s talk about this topic and how it might apply to WordPress plugins.
What Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Is
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a discipline that seeks to get machines to think and reason on their own. It is any technique that allows machines to mimic human intelligence using logic, rules and decision trees as well as machine learning.
Today we know that AI can be of great value when we focus on relatively simple tasks (known as Artificial Narrow Intelligence, ANI) such as, for example, a smart speaker or an autonomous car or web searches, etc. But if we talk about general intelligence (AGI) which includes creative and emotional thinking, our algorithms and systems are still far from being able to do very simple things for humans, such as distinguishing a dog from a cat after having seeing only a few examples. If you want to learn about this discipline, I recommend Andrew Ng’s courses on this subject.
Machine Learning is an area of AI that allows obtaining patterns from large amounts of data and making predictions. Machine learning algorithms include complex statistical techniques that allow them to improve tasks and results with experience. They can be divided into three main categories:
- Supervised learning: these algorithms aim to obtain a certain solution, called “labels,” based on previous learning. For example, a spam detector that labels an email as spam or not, based on the patterns it has learned from the email history (sender, text/image ratio, subject keywords, and so on).
- Unsupervised learning: these algorithms do not have prior knowledge or a predefined objective, but, given a large volume of data, they’re able to find patterns or relationships between them. For example, in marketing they are used to extract patterns from social media data and create targeted advertising campaigns.
- Reinforcement learning: its objective is for an algorithm to learn from its own experience and be able to make decisions in different situations according to a trial and error process in which the correct decisions are rewarded. It is currently used for facial recognition, performing medical diagnoses, or classifying DNA sequences.
AI can provide useful information to you as the administrator of the website and its contents and offer a better experience to your users. For example, it can improve search results, help you with your writing style, conversions and sales, and much more.
Plugins Using IA or ML
Here are some plugins, some of which you probably already have installed on your website, that are already using AI and ML to provide you with great features. The order in which I show the plugins is alphabetical.
One of the classic ML problems is to detect if an email is spam or not. Any WordPress website receives a lot of comments from bots and other spammers whose goal is to have a URL published on your website to increase SEO.
Akismet is one of the plugins that comes pre-installed on a WordPress website and currently has more than 5 million active installations. It uses ML to detect spam comments on your blog. Because it is used by millions of websites, it is a very powerful plugin for spam detection.
Other tools that have been able to grow considerably thanks to AI are chatbots. The ChatBot plugin, with over 3000 active installations, integrates a bot so that it can chat with your website users, display text responses that you have previously created in the WordPress backend, display a small set of the most frequently asked questions, and it lets users send you a support ticket.
Image SEO Optimizer
The Image SEO Optimizer plugin is a plugin that adds ALT text to images and files so that your content is optimized for SEO. The text of the images is added automatically when you upload them in the Media Library or it can also be automatically updated in all the images you have in your Media Library so that they are optimized for SEO. The plugin uses AI and ML to analyze the images and add the ALT tags with the most relevant results.
The Link Whisper Free plugin is a plugin that helps you create internal links to your own website posts. When you write a new post in the WordPress editor, this plugin will add a new box in which it will show, based on the sentences of the written text, suggestions of links that you can add. You can also create links automatically and quickly to posts you already have written.
MyCurator Content Curation
The MyCurator Content Curation plugin allows you to classify your own content and content from external sources that you consider relevant (URLs, RSS, Twitter Google Ads) and help you write your new articles.
If your website is in several languages and you need to translate your pages and posts into more than one language, it is much more useful to use a translation plugin that fully integrates with your block editor than having to copy and paste into Google Translate. This was precisely what motivated us to develop the Nelio Translate plugin.
The plugin uses the Google Translation API which allows you to translate between languages using Google’s pre-trained machine learning models.
Quttera Web Malware Scanner
If you suspect that your WordPress website may have been hacked, the Quttera Web Malware Scanner plugin helps you scan it for malware, Trojans, backdoors, viruses, bugs, shells, spyware, and other threats. It also detects whether your website may have been blocklisted by search engines.
This plugin uses artificial intelligence to detect false positives and improve scan results based on usage. Keep in mind that it is a tool to detect if a website is infected but not to avoid it.
The Tidio – Live Chat, Chatbots & Email Marketing plugin allows you to integrate a chat to talk to you users directly, but it also includes an automatic chatbot to provide relevant answers when you are not available. With more than 10,000 active installations, the plugin uses NLP technologies to identify the most used words and help your customers place orders.
The WebsiteVoice plugin adds a widget to your website so that posts or any other piece of text can be read out lout.
The WordLift plugin that helps you make your webs content easier to interpret and index for search engines. It allows you to enrich the content of your website by generating a relevant vocabulary of entities that is much easier for Google to interpret and, in this way, you can improve your SEO and increase your audience.
Finally, the WP-Chatbot plugin is another plugin that adds a chatbot to your website and has more than 10,000 active installations. It integrates with your Facebook Business page and Facebook Messenger.
The Impact of AI on WordPress
The plugins shown in this post are an example of how AI can help us to improve our websites: to interact better with our users, to improve searches, to detect spam and hackers, to get better content and be able to translate them quickly and, of course, to get the user to have a better experience on our website.
And this is just the beginning! I’m sure we’ll soon see how artificial intelligence is a key component to any of our online businesses.
Featured Image by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash.