Application of Artificial Intelligence to Extract Web Data
The web is a giant storehouse where data is available in abundance. As on 2018, there are nearly 5 billion websites, according to a World Wide Web survey. The potential of what can be done with this data is massive but it is practically impossible to access this data manually. The main challenge that is being faced right now is navigating through this unstructured pile of information and extracting it. This takes a lot of time and effort especially scraping the data from the web. Here is the time when automation can play a pivotal role.
With the rapidly changing technological trends and advancements in AI, there is a way to use machines to extract information from a variety of sources on the web and train them to do it on their own.
Here is a quick example to make this simpler to understand — when we scan and skim through a document for a specific piece of information, we additionally look for alternative sources as well. This inadvertently adds to our knowledge on the topic. The AI system works in just that manner.
Automation is important for web data crawling
A major advantage of AI powered web crawlers are that they save cost of manpower and time put in manually. This even reduces the probability of human error. For simple web data crawling, it is a given that softwares can do this task faster and more accurately than humans. Once a data crawler machine is trained, it can efficiently extract from every single source.
This machine should be able to navigate through different pages and should collect the data from each of them. This is where things may get difficult as different websites use different navigation systems which results in complexity, hence the programmer, writing this code must have sound technical knowledge. He must deploy the code in such a manner that there should be minimal human interference once the machine is programmed.
The future of data extraction
With the ever growing need for data and the challenges associated with procuring it, AI can be the missing piece of the puzzle. The research behind this has tremendous potential with a positive glimpse into the future where intelligent machines with human sight can crawl web documents to give the missing pieces of information that we need to know.
The AI system can be a game changer in research tasks that require a lot of human labor. A system like this will not only reduce the time taken but also enable us to use the abundant information on the web.
Looking ahead, this new research is only a step towards creating the truly intelligent web crawler that would eventually be able to master a variety of tasks just like humans rather than being focused at just one process.
The application of AI and automation in web data crawling and scraping is extensive. Compared to humans, the consistency of the AI powered web data crawlers is unmatched. Furthermore, these machines do not require a lot of maintenance over long periods of time, which adds to its value. There is an immense amount of potential for improvements in web data crawling automation leveraging AI and therefore, the possibilities are endless.