The rise of artificial intelligence is triggering a paradigm shift in the field of user interface development. Thanks to the proliferation of intelligent, voice-activated assistants such as Google Home, Siri, and Alexa, users are beginning to feel that pressing numerous buttons on a screen or manually filling out forms is not only inefficient and slow, but also old-fashioned.

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A good approach to becoming proficient in a new programming language or library is to try and create something useful with it. In my tutorial on simplifying Android development with Anko, I introduced you to Anko’s domain-specific language and helper functions. Although I’m sure you found them impressive, you might still be apprehensive about using them in large and complex apps, since they are so different from traditional Android classes and methods.

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The Java Virtual Machine, or JVM for short, supports multithreading. Any process you run on it is free to create a reasonable number of threads to perform multiple tasks asynchronously. However, writing code that can do so in an optimal and error-free manner can be extremely hard. Over the years, Java, other JVM languages, and a lot of third-party libraries have tried to come up with creative and elegant approaches to address this problem.

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If you’ve ever spoken to voice-based personal assistants such as Siri or Google Now, or chatted with one of the many text-based bots active on messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Kik, you probably realize how fun, intuitive, and powerful conversational user interfaces can be. However, because most natural languages are extremely complex, creating such interfaces from scratch tends be hard. Fortunately, there’s IBM Watson.

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