Artificial intelligence helps us find what we're looking for more rapidly by organizing and prioritizing content in a manner that makes it easier. However, we must actively seek out and utilize these tools rather than letting AI do it for us. There is an endless stream of information flowing into our lives, and we must find strategies to handle it. With the assistance of artificial intelligence, we can locate information that is pertinent to us and helps us make better choices.
June 15, 2022
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In the past, people used to read newspapers or have a coffee break at work to gossip about what happened in their neighborhood the previous day. Today, we don’t even have to wait until the next day anymore: we can find out what happened almost in real-time thanks to social media and smartphones. A recent study by Colloquial found that nearly 90% of Millennials check their phones within the first 10 minutes of waking up and within the first hour after going to bed. This means that most of us are constantly connected with new information coming from our friends and followers on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. However, this constant access to information hasn’t only changed our daily habits — it has also changed how we consume information as well. With this blog post, we want to explore how social media has changed our ability to find information quickly and how artificial intelligence is helping us manage this flood of data on a daily basis.
Why is it so difficult to find information?
So why do we have such a hard time to find information these days? It all comes down to the fact that the Internet has evolved so quickly and is now so massively used that there is just too much information for us to be able to process it all. And let’s be honest, we’re not really forced to find information anymore: we don’t have to go to a library and read through old newspapers to figure out what happened yesterday — we just have to open up our social media channels. And that brings us to the next point — how social media affects the way we consume information.
How does social media affect the way we consume information?
Previously when we wanted to find out more about something, we had to dive into our local library and find the right book, look up the article on an online database or even call an old friend to get the information we needed. Today, we can just take out our smartphones, open up the social media app of our choice and find the information we need instantly. However, while this makes it easier for us to find information, it also places a greater importance on how social media channels choose to present this content. For example, we might want to learn more about how to start a business, but we might not know which social media channel is the best place to find this information. Let’s say we know an old business partner who might have some useful tips — we could find them on Facebook — or maybe on Instagram. But then again, they might also be on Twitter.
The evolution of search engines: from catalogs to semantic analysis
Over the years, search engines like Google have become more and more advanced in their ability to provide us with what we’re looking for. However, while they do allow us to search for specific information on a topic, they tend to show us what’s referred to as “catalog results”. These are basically just lists of links to websites that are relevant to our search term. And let’s be honest — this isn’t really helpful when we’re looking for something specific. So how can we get information from these catalog results? Well, it turns out that we can actually use special keywords to query the database of a search engine and get results that are much more relevant to what we searched for.
What role does artificial intelligence play in this process?
As we’ve explored so far, the main function of artificial intelligence is to help us find information much quicker than we would be able to do so on our own. However, when it comes to actually finding the right information, AI doesn’t actually do it for us — it just makes it much easier. When we type a search term into Google, the search engine uses a combination of computer science, natural language processing and artificial intelligence to provide us with a list of links that are organized in a way that makes it much easier to find the right information.
AI and its ability to provide immediate information
If we want to find out what the weather forecast is in New York, or if we want to know what time the movie starts in our local cinema, these are all things we can find out using artificial intelligence. The weather forecast, for example, is actually one of the most common uses of AI over the years — and you don’t need to be a computer scientist to understand how this works. When we type in “weather forecast” on a search engine, the computer will first look at all the data it has stored on the weather in New York and then it will try to make sense of this data using a neural network.
When we want to find information quickly, artificial intelligence helps us do this by organizing and prioritizing the content in a way that makes it easier to find what we’re looking for. However, AI doesn’t do this for us — we have to actively seek out and use these tools. In the long run, we have to find ways to deal with the flood of information that constantly flows into our lives. With the help of AI, we can easily find information that is relevant to us and that can help us make better decisions.