Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) is a web development approach that combines programming technologies to allow web content to update without reloading. It leverages JavaScript to make asynchronous requests to the server while dynamically updating web content through the retrieved data. 

Web developers and designers use AJAX to create dynamic and interactive effects for websites and applications. Extensible Markup Language (XML), on the other hand, allows you to define, store, and share data between systems. These languages form AJAX and enable webpages to update asynchronously, without reloading.

Popular examples of AJAX architecture include messaging apps, social media feeds, and Google's autocomplete feature. When you receive a message in a group chat, refresh your social media feed, or enter a search query, each platform provides real-time updates without reloading the webpage.

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