Computers have changed the world.
Everything in the modern-day runs through them. Especially following the pandemic of 2020. More companies are completing meetings via apps. Or sending emails to their staff to ensure that work gets done. As a result, the reliance on technology and computers is probably at its highest level ever, especially in the Western World.
If you grew up in an age when this reliance on computer science was not as apparent, you may be puzzled about how this is a good thing.
Weren’t things better back when businesses were not as reliant on technology?
In this article, computer science and technology are explored. Not relating to things like coding in Python or C++ language. But how computer science has made life easier for the average person. So, you can see how this could be a skill worth investing in.
Emails and Spam Filtering
Everyone and their cousin have an email address. And as such, everyone receives emails.
If you lived in the early 2000s, you would remember spam emails seeping into your inbox. The use of a spam folder has since eradicated this. Unfortunately, essential emails can sometimes be placed into the spam folder due to unfamiliar emails sending them. For example, the computer software examines emails for certain words. Or promotional offers that often accompany spam emails.
So, by screening email, the computer software behind even a basic email can remove spam. It is not that complicated. But if you want to learn the nitty-gritty, a masters in software engineering online may be the way to go. The benefit to you is simple. You have fewer spam emails in your folder. Allowing you to focus on the important emails that you will receive.
Go on to any search engine. Begin typing. Watch as the program autocompletes your sentence. This is another real-world application of computer science. With some smartphones, it is predictive text.
The benefits of this are simple. Less time spent typing. Some people may find this part of search engines unnerving. After all, there are enough conspiracy theories about computers knowing too much. But the technology behind it is straightforward. It is due to the computer’s understanding of natural language processing. And, of course, learning by error.
If you frequently search for ‘weather near me’, then the computer will learn this. Thus, saving time when you begin typing it in.
Much like the software behind autocomplete, autocorrect involves critical steps. First, it identifies a misspelt word. Then it computes strings, looking for similar terms that could fit the statement. This allows it to filter for the right word selection. Finally, it calculates the word probabilities.
On a smartphone, this saves time when typing or texting. When writing documents, it also saves on spelling mistakes. This can be a boon if you are someone with dyslexia or another learning disability.
This can also be programmed to add new words to the dictionary if there is a word it doesn’t recognise, but it also learns from consistent spellings that are changed.
Most people have heard of Alexa. Or Google Home.
While they look stylish, they are, in essence, an application program. They are built on understanding natural language patterns. While also being equipped for completing tasks. ‘Alexa, add dog food to my shopping list.’
This allows everyone who owns one the freedom to dictate letters. Send emails and messages. Make phone calls—set reminders. Or even browse the web with a simple vocal command.
The technology is a step up from that used with autocomplete and autocorrect. It predicts likely vocal patterns and phrases, rather than what someone will type into a search engine. The artificial intelligence element also allows it to learn. Once again, saving you time and effort on a frantic Monday morning.
This allows everyone from business owners to students to better organise their weeks with minimal stress or diaries that can be misplaced.
SEO and Chatbots
Do you have an online store? Then you are likely to be familiar with search engine optimisation. Or SEO for short. People visiting the site will likely have queries if you sell items or offer services. For example, if you run a dental surgery, you may have patients asking questions about opening times.
This is where the link between computer science and customer care comes in; chatbots. Chatbots are programmed to be able to handle queries about your business. While also keeping customer service levels higher. And answering many questions at once from your customers.
Chatbots save time. While also reducing the need for human monitoring. Understandably, this saves time and money. Thus, making them a worthwhile investment. From the side of a customer, this option also saves time. You will not have to send emails. Or make phone calls to have your query answered.
There is more to computer science than predicting text or queries.
In the world of medicine, computers and AI have helped to make strides in diagnostics.
In the area of cancer, it can now be predicted how likely it is that someone will have a tumour. Factors such as age, weight, and lifestyle can be explored. Alongside the symptoms that someone is experiencing. This enables doctors to predict the likelihood of a tumour better. As well as where it will be located and its prognosis.
This allows for better medical outcomes, and it is also time-saving. But this is only a simple example of how computer science can help with medical care. For example, artificial neural networks are being used to design more targeted medicines, which can be helpful in illnesses like Alzheimer’s and depression. Or even mapping neurodegeneration without using MRIs or other scans.
Technology has come a long way in a short span of time, and it is making life easier for people every day, and with everyone embracing smart tech, it makes it more accessible and easier to use for people who find it makes a real difference in their lives.