9 Popular WordPress Plugins Using AI and Machine Learning

Posted March 1st, 2021 in Misc. Tagged: , , , .

Artificial Intelligence is in the news a lot, and it’s hyped as a cure for all ills in the same breath it’s suspected of spelling doom for us all. What’s the truth behind all the noise? What does artificial intelligence do, seeing as it is simply everywhere. The truth of the matter is that whatever the would-be prophets say, artificial intelligence and machine learning is here, now, and has applications to your day-to-day.

neurons

At its heart AI/ML is just a suite of powerful programming techniques that let us make code that can learn from its mistakes and improve. This technique lets us write code that’s hard to model as a system of formal rules which, until the advent of AI/ML, was all computers were good for. So, something as slippery and hard to quantify as ‘the sort of movie I’d like to watch’ is something Netflix can now serve on tap.

And you don’t have to be as high-profile as Netflix to reap the benefits of this technology. Indeed, it’s quite possible that you are already using AI/ML in the plugins on your site. This article will help you make the most of this technology and help your site move past predictability and into a more organic user experience.

Spam filtering

Akismet

One of the earliest commercial uses of AI online was hunting for spam. Using vast datasets, it’s possible to fine-tune a model to differentiate legitimate comments from spam with a high degree of accuracy. Akismet is the ultimate example of this approach and it uses the wide network of sites it runs on to constantly learn new tricks, stopping both bot-generated and human-generated spam.

 

CleanTalk

It’s hard to beat Akismet, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The Spam Protection, AntiSpam, Firewall plugin by CleanTalk certainly tries. Its secret is attacking sites from multiple angles: trying to identify not only spam comments, but also spam users based on their origin and carefully analyzed behavioral telemetry data.

 

Customer support chatbots

Nothing can beat human support for the tricky cases, but for the most common support requests, an AI does just fine. And what’s better yet, you can integrate it directly into your page. The user does not need to open a different app, a different site, or even a link. A friendly AI helper can always be discreetly in the corner ready to offer assistance.

Chatfuel

Unlike spam hunters, everyone needs a chatbot tuned to their site. Luckily, with tools like Chatfuel you can leverage their Flow Builder tool. A non-programmer can use templates to quickly make a customized chatbot that answers common queries, solves common problems, and makes the user’s experience that little bit better. The experience is hassle-free as a user, as the chat remains hidden until needed, can be used as a guest, and follows the user to Facebook Messenger, if desired.

AI-powered SEO

The art of managing SEO is that of keeping track of a multitude of indicators in context. This is not something a conventional algorithm does well at all: there’s too many edge cases and special circumstances. AI, however, can be trained to be a great source of help in optimizing your website for search and providing better content.

WordLift

Plugins like WordLift help you write better. WordLift uses artificial intelligence to do the jobs of a researcher and editor instantly, offering advice for writing more impactful text and offering facts, figures, and links to back your point. With modern SEO there’s no shortcut past writing better content, but with WordLift maybe you can get there a little bit faster.

 

Watsonfinds

Watsonfinds has a different approach. Instead of helping you write content, it tells you its likely impact before you publish it. It uses IBM’s Watson AI—the one that won in Jeopardy—to predict, based on your text, what sort of emotional response it will elicit in your users. This lets you tune your content to the emotional response you want: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear.

Automated translation

It’s a big world out there. According to the 2020 Ethnologue there’s thirteen languages with more than 100 million speakers. Translating all your content thirteen times would be slow and unbelievably expensive. Luckily, after years of science fictional promises, AI is finally capable of translation good enough to use day to day.

GTranslate

With Google Translate doing the heavy lifting, you can have your website be available in 103 languages. This is enough to be available to 99% of all users. And with plugins like GTranslate all this power can be available integrated right into your WordPress site. It even beats out Google’s own integration into Chrome because with GTranslate the translated pages ‘count’ for SEO purposes, raising your international ranking with negligible investment.

Recommendation engines & commerce integration

Users don’t buy things they can’t see. And if you offer a wide range of products it’s a constant worry that what the user wants will be lost in the shuffle. Things that are sought after and searched for are fine, but what about impulse buys? This is why it’s worth your time to offer the user at all times a curated selection of things they might like.

Perzonalization

Knowing what someone may like is hard enough for humans—as thousands of regifted birthday presents show—but modern AI can cope. Perzonalization is just such an AI. It segments your users into finely tuned categories, learning from their behavior what kind of shopper they are. It then knows what they might like to buy by studying all the other shoppers in that narrow category. This is a powerful tool to upsell and cross-sell your products.

 

Darwin Pricing

AI can help your sales in other ways. Darwin Pricing Integration is a tool which uses AI and geo tracking to monitor your competition in real time. This lets it offer your customers custom deals and discounts projected to make them competitive. This automated salesperson may be just the thing to close a sale, and with its real-time monitoring, you’ll never fall behind your competition.

 

Content curation

MyCurator

A lot of content on the Web is commentary: a digest of existing articles, picked, curated, and assembled. There’s so much content that curating it for the benefit of others is a valuable service. While nothing replaces insight and experience, a lot of drudgery can be taken out of the work with just a little bit of AI assistance. MyCurator learns from the articles you’ve already assembled and your up-or-down votes on the articles it suggests to find just what you want.

This enables it to filter out unwanted or low-quality content seamlessly, freeing you to pick and choose from among the best of the best. Once you’ve made your selection, MyCurator is still on hand to help. It’ll automatically create for you pictures, excerpts, and attribution links for each article freeing you for the creative work.

Conclusion

Whatever AI can do one day, what it can do today is make your WordPress site better and easier to manage. Don’t expect any of these to be a silver bullet: you still need to put in the content-creation and marketing work to make your site great. But while not silver bullets these plugins are splendid tools and labor-saving devices. With just a few clicks and a minor investment you can shave hours of your workload or reach users the way you couldn’t before.


About the Author

Bojana Vojnović

Bojana Vojnović is a content creator with a finger on the pulse of the world of eCommerce marketing. She oversees a content creation strategy that helps business owners take their brand to the next level.

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