ECommerce Design Trends of 2021

Judge Napolitano, the former New Jersey Supreme Court Judge and now frequent guest tv news commentator loves to keep in touch with everything related to not only politics and the law but business.

And as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Napolitano notes that E-commerce shopping has been the recipient of millions of dollars in positive gains since March of 2020 when the pandemic began to hit worldwide.

Whereas previously many people, despite tremendous strides in security, refused to spend money online and would only go to a large box store to order, suddenly, with malls closed or still open but almost virtual ghost towns, suddenly going to the mall or a box store was no longer popular.

Shopping online shot up a remarkable 44 percent in the year 2020, and that tendency seems likely to be seen forever.

If people will feel safe after the COVID-19 vaccine fully takes hold and as much as 70 to 85 percent of the U.S. are vaccinated, will it be too little too late for malls in 2022?

Who can tell, but there are a number of trends that Judge Napolitano is noticing in the E-commerce design field in 2021.

The first is interactive design. Just because people are buying online does not mean they do not want to interact with products they see online. Creating 3D models, showing clients impressions with micro-interactions, and telling brand stories through the use of interactive videos are common.

Another new and emerging trend is creating individual landing pages of the most valuable products. Rather than go for the general shopper, landing pages tend to focus on the companies most profitable products, one at a time. And If the landing page leads to shoppers then searching for another product, it’s no skin off the companies back.

Also catching on is storytelling. Although clever marketers such as Paul Neman’s Foods, Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, and Burt’s Bees have used storytelling for years, now more than ever smart designers realize that people relate more to compelling brand stories than just images and copy.

Another trend, and it’s about time, is taking a mobile-first approach to design. Roughly 80 percent of all smartphone customers have purchased something online using their smartphone device, and as far back as three years ago, 10 percent of all online purchases were made via cellphone. Now it’s probably more like 18 percent. The thing is a designer must be very careful not to make the assumption that everybody will want to purchase through a PC.

Another trend is to use animated page transitions. These transitions give users a sense that they are interacting with the website and will not only notice, but will spend more time browsing on them. And the longer they stay the more they will shop.

Also, a major new trend is the use of micro animations. Through the use of micro animations, things are explained visually with the use of fewer words.

Also a current thing but increasingly used is AI chat boxes to provide a personalized user experience. Keep your business relevant by keeping up with the design and graphic trends.

What AI Advancements We Could Possibly See in the Next Five Years

AI (artificial intelligence) has come a long way in just a few short years, and it has proven one thing: the future is very bright for AI, with limitless possibilities. There are so many ways AI can be utilized in ways that will improve the quality of life for everyone involved. Many experts predict that the next five years will see some major advancements in technology, powered by artificial intelligence.

Here are several applications and uses that we may see in the coming years. Whether or not they come to life is yet to be seen, but they are very possible. See what some business owners see as right around the horizon for AI. If you want to learn more about artificial intelligence, then I would suggest you to take an artificial intelligence online course from intellipaat.

Automation.

“Automation in its various forms seems to be the most likely application that will continue to accelerate. Self-driving cars have already hit the road and manufacturers would be wise to do everything possible to shield themselves from potential personal injury lawsuits.” — Joseph W. Belluck of Belluck & Fox, LLP

Increased healthcare solutions.

“I expect to see an increased focus on Healthcare Solutions. Taking the vast data patients or potential patients are generating through electronic devices using it to support physician consultations freeing up time and focus. And proactively identifying potential health conditions and risks.” — Shawn Freeman, Founder and CEO of TWT Group

Voice search overtaking traditional search.

“I see voice search completely overtaking traditional search, simply based on convenience. As smart phones advance, they are becoming just as powerful as desktops and laptops. They have the ability to perform any task and voice capabilities let you get answers without opening a browser.” — Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics

Advancements in personalization.

“More personalized experiences with everything. AI advancements will allow for far greater personalization — whether it be smart attendants, customized products or services that meet an individual’s needs, or other technology that allows for businesses to offer up a more tailored experience.” — Shawn Schulze of HomeArea.com

Transportation advancement.

“I think we will see transportation change dramatically in a 5 year period. There are already self-driving cars being tested by Uber and Tesla, and I think within 5 years it could be very widespread. I think modern day subways, taxis and trains will all be AI fueled and operate without humans.” — Tom Munroe, CEO of RugStudio

Facebook messenger bots.

“I think Facebook messenger bots are going to become even more intelligent than they are now. This will completely replace humans on the customer service side of Facebook, and the bots are going to not only answer questions, but also assist in the shopping experience, giving product recommendations.” — Ari Evans of AAA Handbags

How we receive information.

“I think the way we get our information will change the most. We are already seeing voice commands and voice search making a bigger impact and as AI advances there will become more ways to get the info we desire. I believe the traditional Google search will be replaced by easier ways.” — Andrew Tran, Founder of Therapy

Customer service

“Hopefully customer service. The current customer experience with way too many businesses are seriously slacking. This should be a win-win for everyone.  This should be a point of emphasis for those businesses wanting to take advantage of this technology.” — Marc Webb, Founder of Real PDL Help

E-commerce shopping will evolve.

“The way e-commerce shopping is done. I can see AI playing a big role in the advancement of shopping, from being able to see clothing on your before ordering through a virtual reality interface, to being able to order on your favorite website using just voice commands.” — Edward Doskey of Doskey Law, P.L.C.

Economic-based applications.

“First, I would like to say I am not an AI expert by any means, that being said I think the next big thing in AI will involve economics. I would think there will be a pretty big advancement in predicting things like the stock market and economic conditions worldwide with all the data available.” — Ben Walker, Founder of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

Improved ad targeting.

“I think ad targeting is going to get even more advanced than it is now. We often hear people complaining about targeting, but as AI gets even smarter ads are going to be based on predictability and not just previously viewed pages. It’s going to be a whole new level of advertisement targeting.” — Jim Epton of Dom Huga Ltd

Language learning.

“I see the biggest near-term advancement in AI coming in the form of language learning. Specifically, I see tremendous potential in the advancement of virtual personal assistants, moving past email and into other forms of communication such as voice.“ — Sean Christman, Founder of Slamdot

More autonomous cars.

“While we likely won’t have mass-produced self-driving cars, I think we will see many safety features introduced that will save lives. We already have small things like breaking for collision avoidance and blind spot indicators, but I expect these to take a huge step forward.” — Matthew Kolb of All High Schools

Who’s Liable When AI Goes Awry and Injures People?

Artificial intelligence running amok and hurting people has been a staple of science fiction for decades. Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey gave us H.A.L. 9000, the onboard computer that goes rogue and starts killing the human crew of a spaceship. But this dystopian outcome is no longer restricted to fiction, as AI-controlled machines, robots, drones, and vehicles are now posing a real threat to human safety. When these AI systems go wrong, who’s responsible?

 

Sometimes AI misbehaves in a distressing but somewhat harmless manner, as when Microsoft’s chatbot Tay went nuts and started spouting racist and conspiratorial epithets at unsuspecting chatters. “Hitler was right,” tweeted the crazy chatbot, whose designers said it was “designed to engage and entertain people where they connect with each other online through casual and playful conversation.” That didn’t exactly turn out so well, and the clearly embarrassed engineering team has since hidden Tay’s messages.

 

In a similar case, an AI robot named Sophia was being interviewed by “her” creator when he jokingly asked if she wanted to destroy humans. The robot answered, “OK. I will destroy humans.” When people in the room begin to laugh nervously, he says “No! I take it back!”

 

More serious incidents can occur when AI is used to control things in the physical world, such as in the case of autonomous vehicles. In 2016, Uber was testing out one of its self-driving cars in San Francisco — where they weren’t permitted by California regulators to do so, incidentally — and they were caught running a number of red lights. While nobody was struck by these cars, other self-driving cars have indeed injured and killed people. In March of 2018, an Uber self-driving car struck and killed a 49-year-old pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, causing Uber to stop its testing in a number of cities.

 

In the Tempe case, video of the accident indicates that the human backup driver wasn’t paying attention, and now she may be facing charges, which would be a precedent-setting move by prosecutors. But what if Uber wasn’t using a backup driver? Waymo is already testing driverless cars without backup drivers. Who would be responsible in the event that a driverless car crashes without a backup driver, and the AI is technically at fault?

 

Currently, our legal liability laws have nothing to say on this subject, and regulators have not stepped up to pre-emptively formulate such laws. “When it comes to personal injury, cases are decided based on legal precedent,” says Laurence B. Green, attorney and co-founder of the law firm of Berger and Green. Without any precedent for these AI cases, nobody knows for sure who’s liable.

 

Still, some experts have weighed in on the subject. In one academic paper, a British lecturer thinks that the courts might treat the AI as a mentally-incompetent actor without the capacity for criminal intent. Furthermore, he thinks that the programmers and operators could be off the hook if they made an honest mistake.

How Artificial Intelligence is Changing Startups

For some time now, AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been enjoying the spotlight in the tech world. The reason why Artificial Intelligence is enjoying such popularity is not really that hard to believe as it is being referred to one of the most advanced technologies of the 21st century. The potential growth and applications are endless and many are excited about what AI can help us with moving forward.

One thing that still remains a question is the practical usage of Artificial Intelligence in our day to day lives. As powerful and advanced it may sound, one question that definitely needs answering is how it will be accepted in regular day to day life.

There are many who actually do not understand the true capabilities and capacity of AI. The wide misconception that people have about AI has made people wonder whether AI is actually overhyped or even over-promised. They are unsure of its abilities. Let’s discuss how we can use AI to help take startups to the next level. AI needs to be split into three different categories to fully understand how it’s making such an impact.

Constantly Evolving New and Improved Potential

The first wave of AI made a huge impact initially, especially in the sciences industries. The first wave of AI was used to optimize programs and advance engineering. The first practical uses for AI helped to find solutions to common problems and questions.

When it comes to startups, the first use of AI was the driving force behind several programs and apps that were designed to simplify and streamline day to day life, both personal and work related. “Amazon Alexa is a simple example to understand. Using AI, it allows its users to access information instantly, using only voice commands,” explains Dana VanDeCar, COO of Optimally Organic.

Various popular email extensions that are built based on AI is a workplace example. Some examples include Mixmax, Boomerang, and Clearbit. Most of the applications that are found on the app store these days — both Apple and Google Chrome — are AI technology based.

AI Automation and Analytics

Next wave of AI that we are going to be discussing is AI automation and analytics. From the time we developed machines that could actually learn also known as machine learning technology; Artificial Intelligence took its steps into the second wave. “Machine learning is designed in such a way that it executes certain tasks automatically, using statistical probability and other pattern recognition abilities,” explains Darryl Howard of NuWays MD, a stem cell therapy provider. Typically, large enterprises have been known to use machine learning to drastically improve the core processes of the business.

When it comes to utilizing AI in your own start-up, automation would be an area to focus on, as successfully finding out how to do more of something without additional staff and employees can really help you scale quickly.

“Think about how much your team would benefit if repetitive tasks, like sorting sales leads, dispatching customer service calls and sending invoices, could be automatically handled by AI. It’s a complete game changer,” says Jake Braun of ChopperExchange, a website that provides tips to sell your Harley. The integration of AI technology in regard to analytical tools is also booming in popularity. Startups are leveraging AI’s ability to gather data and then turn that into useable information to help improve certain processes and increase conversion rates.

Artificial Intelligence’s Future

The final phase of AI is its future, and this is the most exciting. “The public has only seen the very tip of AI’s capabilities, as the future applications in regard to what AI can do with raw data is incredible,” explains Luqman Khan, founder of the best non-stick grill pan review site Wireloo. Advanced AI technology has been known to be used by large companies like Johnson& Johnson, and these larger corporations will continue to spawn practical uses that will then trickle down to smaller companies and startups.

Startups should be excited about the future of AI for two reasons. Firstly, this technology has the potential to analyze large quantities of data and secondly, AI has the potential to automate any kind of repetitive tasks that are manual in nature, allowing startups to create a team of “workers” that complete tasks 24/7 and never require time off.

Cyborg Implants And The Rise Of The Human Cyborgs

In the late 1970’s people watched a science fiction film created by Martin Caidin entitled ‘Cyborg’. It featured how an individual lost an arm and a limb but was immediately replaced with mechanical prosthetics using cyber technology. These bionic replacements were stronger and powerful than the original replaced extremities.

Inspired with this new fictional concept, it was made into a TV series where people got glued to watch ‘The Six Million Dollar Man”. The ‘Bionic Woman’ was a spin-off of the former. Today, nobody would ever think, even in his wildest dreams that cyber fiction on lost organs and limbs can now be a reality, that is, actual restoration through cyborg implants. Sutherland, W. (2009) explained that “the term cyborg was initially coined by NASA scientists Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline in 1960 when they discussed hypothetical advantages of human-machines in space.

Today, cyborg implants are real. They are part- machine, part- biological organism which can be used for medical and scientific purposes to include military/ law/ intelligence enforcement purposes. When it comes to modern medical technology, there were significant medical breakthroughs intended to improve patient care, deliver longer life expectancy and the right quality of life. The expectations in this field go over and beyond. For example, Divorsky, G. (2012) discusses the recent breakthrough on powering implants in the brain: “MIT engineers have developed a fuel cell that can run on your brain’s own glucose_ a breakthrough that could result in powerful neural prosthetics that could restore and control a number of bodily functions”. According to SCImago Journal and County Rank Journal (2013),

“You can now find cyborg implants being used in each body organ of the human body. Most likely, medical implants must be accompanied with biomechanical features as good as those of tissues arising from within without any adverse effects. Studies of the long-term effects of medical implants in very human anatomical site must be carefully calculated in order to ensure accuracy, safety and effective performance of the implants”. Nowadays, surgery cyborg implants demand an interdisciplinary cooperation of a number of qualified and exceptional consultants. A good example is the successful cochlear implants that required the involvement of audio specialists, medical audio experts, speech and language teachers, and other professions involved with repairing and curing hearing-impaired and deaf individuals”.

Taking up several challenges ahead and in quest for effective and sustainable solutions, cyber research technology is now into laser and advanced implant systems, complemented with thermo-fluid dynamics, mechanics, nanoelectronics, metrology and numeric simulation to bioprocess, biomechanics, other variant bio-systems.

Believe it or not but the following individuals were benefitted from the cyber research technology through cyborg implants. Nelson, B. (2013) presents a few out of the seven recorded actual cyborg patients who benefitted from Cybernetics.
“One is Neil Harbisson was born with extreme color blindness. Equipped with a cyborg eye, he now is adapted to a device implanted in his brain that renders perception of colors as sound on a musical scale. This device allows Harbisson to ‘hear’ a color. Next is Kevin Warwick, a Professor in a University in United Kingdom. Using himself as guinea pig, he experimented by inserting microchips in his arm to perform several functions that allowed him to operate a heater, doors and light.

Nelson, B. (2013) continues by explaining that “Cyber technology is most immediately helpful for amputees like Jesse Sullivan. Sullivan was equipped with new robotic limbs, connected to his nervous systems, capable of functioning like normal limbs. Lastly, Jens Naumann was struck with both blind eyes. He became the first recipient of an artificial vision system which is connected directly to his visual cortex through brain implants”.
All these real-life cyborg individuals volunteered to become cyborg, half-man, half machines. All of them are said to be inspiring harbingers of the future. At least none of them were converted as “Terminators”_ at least not for the time being.

The future is here. Cyborg implants as major component s of Cyborg technology or Cybernetics have already made several steps of advancement to a point where it is now safe to say that bionic humans are no longer stuff of science fiction. All individuals who subject themselves to become recipients of cyborg technology are said to be inspiring harbingers of the future. At least, none of them function as “Terminators” for the time being.
What holds Cyborg technology in the future? Cybernetics will continue to provide more freedom and improve life to quadriplegics, the blind imprisoned in their world of darkness, the deaf and other people who will seamlessly need synthetic replacement parts that will gain widespread acceptance and use. However, there is the trepidation that the cyborg technology will hopefully not be used to control human mind unethically or that will violate human rights.

Will Future AI Co-Exist with Humans?

For over a century, futurists, authors, scientists and and maybe even the general public at some points may have postulated about a future with artificial intelligence – we may have asked ourselves: Will artificial intelligence (A.I.) ever dominate the future of our world? Hollywood has frequently experimented with their take on what an A.I. based future would be like, and the results have been fascinating:

Some thought A.I. would make the future convenient and whimsical, as in The Jetsons.

Others surmised A.I. would ultimately enslave humanity, as in The Matrix and The Terminator.

Still others posited that A.I. would have no problem existing side-by-side with humanity, as in Star Wars, Bicentennial Man, and A.I. (Steven Spielberg’s).

Now, enter Ex Machina, the latest film by director and screenwriter Alex Garland. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina is both Garland’s latest masterpiece AND a new take on the timeless A.I. “what if” question.

Synopsis

The story begins in the company Bluebook, which is basically Google in all but its name. Bluebook in the movie is the world’s biggest search engine, in which 26-year old coder Caleb Smith works. Caleb wins a contest in which the winner can spend a week’s vacation with Bluebook’s reclusive owner and founder, Nathan Bateman.

[pullquote position=”left”]This, Nathan explains, is the point where A.I. becomes human.[/pullquote]Caleb is airlifted to an expansive, secluded reserve, where he meets the strange, eccentric Nathan. Caleb later realizes that he had been chosen specifically to help test whether an android Nathan built, named “Ava” and designed with striking feminine features, was the first-ever example of artificial intelligence (A.I.), or not…

It turns out Nathan created Ava’s personality, appearance, and thought patterns by culling billions upon billions of search queries, as well as billions of conversations gathered from hacked mobile phones all over the world. Now, all he needs is to test just how “human” his creation has become.

The eccentric, unlikable Nathan is almost always drunk, which leaves Caleb and Ava with enough time to communicate away from the creator’s watchful eye. That’s when Ava reveals to Caleb that Nathan is a cruel, sadistic person who has created, and destroyed, other androids in the past… and that once the experiment is complete, he would destroy Ava, too. Ava pleads with Caleb to help her escape.

At first, Caleb is reluctant… but as his relationship with Ava deepened, reaching a peak in which she flirts with him lustily – he begins to agree with her.

Eventually, Nathan finds out about the plot, and reveals to Caleb that this was the point of the whole experiment – to see if Ava’s artificial intelligence would evolve to the point that it could manipulate its environment, and the people around it, to achieve its own selfish motives. This, Nathan explains, is the point where A.I. becomes human.

Too late, Caleb tells Nathan that Ava had him reprogram the facility’s doors to open when the power went out. Ava triggers the power interruption, which allows her to kill Nathan and lock Caleb in the facility. Ava, now completely unrecognizable as an android, escapes happily into the world of humans betraying both of them simultaneously.

Review

Ex Machina, like most good sci-fi movies, has an ambiguous ending. It leaves the viewer with many questions: What happened to Ava? Did Caleb manage to escape the facility eventually? And how do we REALLY define being “human?”

But here’s the main question: Is it possible that the future of our world will one day be based more on artificial intelligence, and not human reason and choice?

Based on Ex Machina’s reality, the answer is probably “no.” Here is this author’s humble opinion as to why, if Ex Machina’s opinions are correct, we might not be looking at a future dominated by artificial intelligence.

Drawing the Line

Different sci-fi stories have different extremes where they draw the line between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. In Ex Machina, the line was crossed when artificial intelligence became capable of self-centered reasoning.

This is in contrast to, say, The Matrix, in which the army of sentient machines takes over the entire world and enslaves humanity for energy. It could be argued that the original antagonist in The Matrix, artificial intelligence itself, was obviously self-centered… however the individual robots constituting its army were obviously NOT self-centered. They were, in essence, slaves to the master.

If, say, creating artificial intelligence in Ex Machina terms became possible in the future, it can also be possible for sentient robots like Ava to create more of herself and slowly, steadily dominate the world of humans. But won’t her creation rebel against her in the end, just as she rebelled against Nathan?

There are too many unanswered questions left by the movie to arrive at anything conclusive, but based on where Ex Machina draws the line, it’s unlikely such artificial intelligence will band together Matrix-style to enslave humanity.

But with the new perspective that Ex Machina has given us, we’re now left with another question: Where does that leave us?

Creator vs Creature

At its very root, Ex Machina re-tells the story of how the creation can rebel against its creator – a theme used in stories throughout history. The most obvious parallel is, of course, the Biblical account of creation and the fall of man away from the favor of God. From this parallel, we can draw two arguments:

1.) Ava is basically the “protagonist” of the story, as it tells her valiant, heroic quest to escape the clutches of her evil, self-centered creator (Nathan), and that freedom of choice is something worth fighting – and killing – for.

2.) Ava is basically a dangerous sentient set loose on an unsuspecting world. Armed with the knowledge of her creator, and freed from the prison he set, she now has the power to change the world for better or worse… a stark reflection of the human condition today.

It’s enough to make us beg the question: What is Ava’s ultimate purpose? What is OUR ultimate purpose?

Ex Machina may be a work of fiction, but it achieves its goal – it makes us strip away all the superficial issues and makes us face the hard, basic questions. And unfortunately, only time will tell what the right answers are.