Artificial Intelligence: Machine Learning, Purchase Prediction and Personalised Experiences.


I know, I know...

Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence.

Yes, AI is awesome, it's developing at an exponential rate and it’s also this decades big talking point, but…

No one really understands it, so here’s what you need to know.

What is AI (Artificial Intelligence)?

Of course, the term “AI” or “Artificial Intelligence” itself can be somewhat misleading; serving, as it does, as a catch-all phrase for anything involving machine learning and/or algorithms. AI has a spectrum of definitions; it casts itself as a wide net of technologies that spans across a lot of different things and can be described in ways that may even seem contradictory.


AI is already everywhere, and it’s making a huge difference in our lives every day. Your smartphone, your car, and your bank all use artificial intelligence on a daily basis; sometimes it’s obvious what its’ doing, like when you ask Siri to get you directions to the nearest petrol station. Sometimes it’s less obvious, like when you make an abnormal purchase on your credit card and don’t get a fraud alert from your bank.

In a recent article, Accenture predicted that through the innovation of AI, it will double the annual economic growth rates of 12 of the largest developed countries by 2035. It’s potential has in some sectors been overhyped, but in my view it is set to play a crucial role in not only creative disciplines but also the customer journey and experience.

AI in Design & Creativity

The majority of movements within design and creativity in discussion at the moment are replacing laborious, time consuming and menial tasks by bots and AI.

Soon launching, Adobe Sensei is one of many programmes to currently be under development. It uses a system of fairly sophisticated machine learning tools to anticipate your next move. It does this by harnessing trillions of content and data assets to recreate elements in photos where they didn’t exist by studying nearby pixels. It sees type and re-creates fonts for you. It identifies objects in your images and adds searchable words to your photo tags. And it recognises faces, placing landmarks on eyebrows and lips so you can change expressions with one click. Tasks that would have taken minutes are done in seconds.

This machine learning framework can be seen as an almost unified AI providing a new step in design intelligence and a personalised design experience.

AI in Web Design & E-Commerce

Information processing can be seen as the source of intelligence. Therefore it’s important that in the future, we as web designers and developers use this information to personalise the online shopping experience for customers. Powered by AI, this personalised online experience will enable e-commerce websites to recommend products uniquely suited to shoppers, and enables people to search for products using conversational language or just images, as though they were interacting with a person. This will not only increase conversion for the clients we’re designing for but will be an all round better experience for the customer.


Another thing to mention is the development of purchase prediction technology. Large retailers such as Target and Amazon stand to make a lot of money by anticipating your needs. Amazon’s anticipatory shipping project which they patented in 2014, hopes to send you items before you need them, completely obviating the need for a last-minute trip to the online store.

(Read more on 'Machine Learning' and 'Predictive AI' in Harvard Business Reviews "How Predictive AI Will Change Shopping" here.)

Final Thoughts

In summary, I believe the future of AI is to enhance the human experience. Personalising and streamlining certain aspects of our lives to make it easier and more enjoyable. Although some are sceptical about AI, and may see the way it will use data as intrusive, I believe we should embrace it’s innovation in making our lives easier.


The use of personalised experience design as well as immersive content production is something that we'll be developing in a big way at UNBXD. If you'd be interested in getting involved feel free to get in touch.

Thanks for reading.