In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, the United Kingdom has witnessed a remarkable surge in curiosity surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), with Google searches for AI spiking by a staggering 1025%. As the UK aspires to become a global leader in AI governance, these search trends shed light on the need for better understanding and effective communication within an industry riddled with abbreviations and acronyms.
Mason Frank International, a Tenth Revolution Group company, conducted extensive research to explore the general perception of Brits towards AI and other frequently searched tech terms. Alongside AI, the study revealed four other top search terms: API, cloud computing, CSS, and IoT.
The research underscores the significance of bridging the communication gap between tech professionals and newcomers or non-tech audiences. With nearly 50% of people finding jargon “annoying,” James Lloyd-Townshend, Chairman and CEO of Mason Frank International, stressed the importance of avoiding overwhelming individuals with industry-specific terminology.
“Jargon, shorthand, acronyms, and abbreviations can all be useful in our day-to-day tech work conversations, but we have to be mindful about how somebody new to the space or sector might be experiencing that. We don’t want folks to feel overwhelmed by all the new information they have to decode.
“It’s also worth thinking about using full terms and taking the time to explain them, even briefly, especially when you’re in an inter-departmental context or speaking with a non-tech audience, for example. If you regularly assume knowledge, it can stigmatise asking for explanations or clarification, which isn’t a positive experience and can lead to further miscommunication,” James said.
The study provides clear explanations of the top five most misunderstood tech terms:
API (Application Programming Interface): An API facilitates seamless communication between different products or services. For instance, a weather app retrieves the latest forecast from a weather bureau’s database via an API.
AI (Artificial Intelligence): Initially defined as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines,” AI now refers to machines and systems that exhibit traits of human intelligence, such as learning, problem-solving, and perception. The current focus is on generative AI, which produces content based on existing banks of digitized knowledge.
Cloud Computing: It encompasses the delivery of various computer services, including data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software, through the internet. This allows users to access resources online rather than relying on local infrastructure.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): CSS is a language used to describe the presentation of web documents written in markup languages like HTML. By separating content and presentation, CSS enables flexibility and accessibility across different rendering methods, accommodating various devices and user needs.
IoT (Internet of Things): IoT refers to a network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software, and technologies that connect and exchange information over the internet. IoT devices span from smart kitchen appliances to sophisticated industry tools.
The research, conducted using Google search volume data from the last 12 months, emphasises the importance of clear communication and the need to avoid assumptions of knowledge. By promoting inclusivity and providing explanations even in inter-departmental contexts or when engaging non-tech audiences, the tech industry can bridge the gap and foster better understanding.
As the UK strives to lead in AI governance, the surge in AI-related searches reflects a nation’s curiosity and eagerness to explore the possibilities and implications of this transformative technology. By demystifying complex tech terms and encouraging open dialogue, the industry can ensure that technological advancements are accessible and comprehensible to all.