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Artificial Intelligence and Cascading Style Sheets

If you’ve read any tech media recently, you’ve probably heard that artificial intelligence is changing everything – but what about web design?

Web design is actually one of those processes that seems tailor-made for artificial intelligence. To explain this, let’s look at some of the fundamental building blocks of web design.

In the early years of the Internet, HTML was the ‘Swiss Army knife’ of web design. Webmasters coded and tagged items in HTML, and websites came to life. If you ever worked on this kind of project, you may remember the tedium of trying to match tags and type endless commends like “a href” into an edit screen. Not always fun stuff – but that was how it was done.

Years later, a technology standard called Cascading Style Sheets or CSS emerged that automated some of the HTML tagging process. CSS provided overall comprehensive design layout for a website in a way that didn’t need to be hand coded into every single page. Items like style and color were universalized and applied to all parts of the website in an efficient way.

Now we have brand-new reports that in fact, artificial intelligence technologies are using HTML and CSS to render full websites from a visual mockup. The program, endowed with the ability to “think” like a human, can “look” at a mockup through a particular lens and adapt a new project to that spec.

Advances like this are startling to people to do these things for a living. They tend to see the technology as encroaching on their livelihoods. But this isn’t necessarily how it works. Many experts point out that new technologies are more likely to become elaborative with human labor than to replace human labor altogether. Even in factories, where robots are doing a lot of the assembly of discretely manufactured products, there are likely to be several humans involved in the QA process.

AI in web design is likely to be a bit like that, too. You’re still going to need human agents to carry out these sophisticated projects. It’s just that some of the data entry will be outsourced to a computer or robot. In this case, people who were used to hand coding certain elements of websites will see that they no longer need to do so. But even if robots can make a website – they can’t account for all of those decisions that make a company’s website unique. That’s where the human touch comes in.

At WebSubstance, we excel at offering our clients the right expertise and professionalism to update their websites for the years to come. Talk to us about the best way to innovate and improve to compete in your markets and benefit from modern web design.