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Frequently Asked Questions:

Ask Dr. Webbie

Answers to Your Internet Questions

Is there an Internet question you'd like to see answered in a future edition of Website Compass? Email your question to DrWebbie@WebsiteCompass.com.

To assist him in answering your question as specifically as possible, be sure to include the following: the name of the browser you are using (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox 2.0, etc.), the name of the email software you are using (i.e. Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0, OS 10.4 Mail, etc.), and the version of your system software (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)

QUESTION: What does it mean when I try to reach a webpage and get a 404 error message? What should I do next?

ANSWER:
A 404 error is a code produced by the server when it cannot find the webpage you were trying to reach. In addition to "404 Error," you may see this message worded in ways including "404 Not Found," "Error 404," "Error 404 Not Found," and so on. Some websites even have fun with their 404 error messages using humor or clever images related to their business or organization.

You may wonder why call it's called a 404 error instead of something like "missing webpage error." It's because the 404 error code is recognized by search engines, which helps prevent search engine crawlers from indexing bad URLs. It can also be read by web scripts and website monitoring tools, which helps webmasters locate and fix broken links.

Reasons you'll see 404 error messages include:

1. You typed the URL incorrectly in a web browser's address field.

2. You clicked on an outdated or "broken" link.

3. The page has been removed from the website.

4. The page was moved but the website did so without redirecting the old URL to the new one.

Reason #1, inputting an incorrect URL, is the most common cause of 404 errors. When you see a 404 error message, double check the URL and enter it again. You may have made a typo when you entered the URL initially, and this can be easily corrected. Also remember that the content of a URL that comes after the domain name is often case sensitive. So for example, if you entered company.com/BLOG when it should have been company.com/blog, it could have been the cause of a 404 error message. You can also try going to the website's homepage and running a search for the topic you're trying to find.

QUESTION: What is artificial intelligence and how is it being used today?

ANSWER:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. These processes include:

The term was coined by John McCarthy, an American computer scientist, in 1956. Since then, AI has become an umbrella term for many applications.

In the business world, AI is gaining prominence due in part to "big data," since AI can perform tasks such as identifying patterns in the data more efficiently than humans, enabling businesses to gain more insight. Other popular AI applications include voice recognition — used by Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant — and image recognition used by Facebook and others to recognize many of your friends' faces in posted photos and prompt you to tag them.