To AI or not to AI with Your Website
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST WAS NOT WRITTEN WITH AI
Yes, this post was written with human hands, but by someone with quite a bit of hands on experience with AI in practical environments.
Alternatively, I’m a big proponent of using AI as an assistant and I’ve explored easily probably 40 powerful AIs that do various things from coding, content generation, asset generation and video. Everything from locally hosted LLMs (I’m fortunate to have access to locally hosted Meta Llama 2 multiple model LLMs (large language models) as well as have tried countless third party AI platforms like the more common ChatGPT). The tests I do are very powerful “lab experiments” testing all kinds of twists and turns of practical usage (and experimental ai usage).
I’ve also been putting time into my technology lab brand and although not centered around AI, AI has definitely been a component of the projects there, so I feel like I have quite a bit to offer on this topic. I’ll be sharing my experience with using AI for writing content and generating assets through to using AI to fix broken website components like plugins and themes.
This is slightly opinion based (my applications may not be your applications)…but let’s get into it.
- Using AI to Write Content
- Using AI as a Writing Assistant
- Using AI for Code
- Using AI for Graphics and Other Assets
- Using AI for Audio
- Will the Quality Improve?
- Where is AI Going?
- Will this Replace the Human?
Using AI to Write Content for WordPress Websites
I’ve definitely put this to the test. Now I haven’t tested every system, but quite a few. The results are very remeniscent to when you used to be out on the internet in the Yahoo days seeing SEO optimized sites with language that is very easily identifiable that it hadn’t been written by a human. Sort of like the same challenge as auto-translation. All these things are getting better, but also being a studier of languages, there are so many twists and turns to dialect, cetertainly there will be improvement as these models get trained.
What I’ve found great purpose for is using AI as a writing assistant. When you have a writing idea, know the general topic, but want to really drill down to some specifics to write about. Arriving at sub-sections and gaining an example of what an AI thinks a good way to write on those subjects is very valuable.
More often than not, to use the AI results, it just requires a ton of rewriting. Thus far, to me, it hasn’t been worth it. Finding topics to write about for an article though, that has been very helpful. I’m a good writer, formulating a pre-plan with some topics has always been a part of my workflow. Getting some direction with that has been a great help.
That being said, I’m still rewriting, throwing away topics or led to discovery of the topics I actually want to write about. You really can’t complain though on that type of additional assistance.
Apps that provide empowered searching really make the research part easier. I’d undoubtedly say that learning is easier with AI. The discovery of things.
Using AI as a Writing Assistant for WordPress Websites
So I’ve touched on actually using AI to write. I’m obviously one of many that’s made this discovery. Most of the system integrations like Elementor are using AI more inline to expand on topics. For that, I think it’s great.
To me right now, this is the strongest use case. It’s great to get ideas while you’re doing your human writing and be able to implement those ideas on the fly in order to arrive at a higher quality product.
Writing can be hard. After doing a lot of writing, even pinning down that one word you want to use that you know but isn’t coming to mind, that’s hard. Having a little disctionary and thesaurus there inline, huge thing.
I’ve also been doing some writing on WordPress.com and like the way they have integrated a writing assistant. The WordPress.com writing assistant takes a look at your post and gives suggestions about things you may want to do or have possibly left out. That’s really neat. I’ve also given it a whirl with inline suggestions on how to make content better. I feel like they are really going to keep improving on this and it will become more and more special with time.
Using AI for Code and Repairing Broken Website Components Like Plugins and Themes
This is my favorite as a web developer. In my capacity, I do a lot of style changes. Of course, I know CSS like the back of my hand, but it’s still mundane and generally can be time consuming. AI does really well with CSS and when you already know what you can do and want to do, so getting syntax can be made easier and I’ve actually learned more complex implmentations doing this in production.
PHP is great too. Unlike CSS, you really have to be a bit more skilled with actual experience with PHP, but building things around hooks and supported integrations with plugins in my opinion has been made much easier with PHP. I also like being able to ask if I’m doing a certain thing the best way and have gotten excellent feedback that way and actually enhanced my skills.
There’s a ton of errors with coding results. I have found that. I’m a big test of the fly guy, so that can be a slowdown, but it’s not a stopper. Biggest thing I’d say about using AI for coding with WordPress is not to expect the answer you get to be implementable, but have pretty good ideas about structure and what can be done that can be modified.
The quality also varies greatly. I pretty much started experimenting with this when ChatGPT was more in a Beta stage. The quality was better then with ChatGPT than it is now. The prompting and the way things are asked for also make a tremendous difference.
As far as a third party app, I’ve gravitated more towards Anthropic’s Claude AI. With Claude, you can input long form content, which is huge for coding. It’s still very multistep and review, trial, error, adapt. I just like being able to explain my entire case in detail first as I generally do that anyway.
Even for even, has it led to time savings. Probably not. Has it led to higher quality code, I’d say yes. Is it easier than having to write the entire whatever by hand while using docs and Google as a reference, that’s a definite yes.
I also do some other advanced forms of coding, Python, Arduino and 3d modelling. It’s been great for this.
I’m fortunate to have acccess to a local installation of Meta’s Llama 2 where I can download any model and this is much more coding intensive in terms of accuracy and multi-language, so the experiments continue with this.
Just to throw an AI coding accomplishment out there. I’ve been able to describe a building in detail, get OpenScad (an Open Source CAD program) and actually stand a building up from AI results in virtual reality.
I’m continuing to do pretty aggressive experiments with coding and I’d say at this point, these different AIs are definitely like different tools on my workbelt.
I’m also working on an advanced audio encoding system that utlizes Amazon Polly for realtime transcription. This is an experimental project, but very interesting and especially so when you add AI to the workflow. That being said, many don’t realize that Google Bard AI has really upped their translation game vs. Google Translate and has rolled out some pretty advanced dialect integration, so all these platforms are moving forward full force with the benefit of AI.
I’ll have a lot more to say about coding in the future and we haven’t even touched on platforms specifically for coding outside Llama 2. This is going to be the big thing where IDEs people write code with actually are very empowered by AI and it’s happening now.
Using AI for Graphics and Other Assets
We probably don’t have to go into this one in too much detail. This is really what started the AI craze.
Before all these third party platforms popped up, I started with Clip and Dall-e and merged into using other Clip libraries and multi-perceptor setups (StyleGans, etc.) My experiment here was to make some NFTs. That was a really fun experiment and I made a bunch of NFTs that nobody bought (but it was a super fun experience and community). They were very artistic, but when you’re using Python for these things, well, the results coming from these popup platforms, they’re basically much better. They are tailored around clarity and being realistic.
What I liked about the Python oriented application was the artistic aspect. You get a bunch of slightly different versions of things that you can control from being very abstract to more realistic. As an artist, just being able to create something from code directives that didn’t exist previously, in an artistic form. Wow, that was empowering. I really liked seeing what other people were making in this medium. I liken this period very similarly to the MySpace days where you could look and see all the cool things people were doing to their page. Same thing here, you could follow people and see all the weird, neat things people were making.
NFTs got a really bad label mostly due to the bulk of the money projects being cartoony stuff, but the artistic quality I was able to see of the other things in this environment, they were cutting edge and on the pulse of artistry. It’s sort of sad this entire movement ended up with a bad label.
So there was some form of credibility loss with anyone interested in or working with NFTs, but quite a few people who really didn’t understand the AI and artistry component, just the cartoon hockers.
You wouldn’t have seen such a quick standup of platforms like ChatGPT without this entire movement. I feel very grateful to have been able to get my hands on AI much, much sooner than most of the nay-sayers and that gave me a tremendous jump start when the platforms were released for non-graphical things like ChatGPT. I already understood quite a bit about the back end and overall how of all of these types of setups as well as the programatic setup.
So yes, be thankful for NFTs, even though you’ve been taught to hate them. Otherwise, you would not have had your hands on the ChatGPTs of the world. The movement was not do we release this, it was very open sourcey, if you get your hands on it, you can use it and experiment with it. Not controlled by some big company deciding if the time was right for you. There were a ton of us on Google Colab sharing notebooks and ideas way ahead of this entire movement that utilized AI.
To go further on graphics, now we have all kinds of presentation makers, Canva that will make website or design assets for you, a lot of positive empowering things.
Now the use cases are much more broad. AI can help your with banners, promotional videos, logos and much more.
Using AI for Audio
This is one of my favorites to experiement with. Unlike the other platforms or use cases, I consider myself very consumer based in this environment. I do like to experiment though and do have a background in music production (albeit way, way back)
Most of my experiments here resulted in crackly EDM (electronic-ish) types of melody blocks. No way production ready.
That being said, I pretty much try every music AI I can get my hands on as I love music.
These things have come a long way. There are platforms that can make Pop Music songs now that you really wouldn’t know weren’t human.
I’ve also got to get my hands on Meta MusicGen, very high quality productions here as well.
So all in all, I think we definitely can expect an AI component to music as it’s quite simply able to make things that sound pleasant to humans.
Melody and syncing chords has been around a long time on production oriented software, mostly for chaining two songs together or creating synchronized lists. We see this now across major platforms like Amazon Music and Spotify, but it’s also been part of music production software for a long time. Based on this fact, there is no doubt we’re going to see a lot more here.
Will the Quality Improve?
The entire basis of trained models is that usage makes the product better, so as time goes on, quality improves.
Wow, that was the shortest sentence I think I was able to write here laugh
Where is AI Going?
Where this is going is what we’re already seeing. Because these are technology integration based capable platforms, we’re seeing them integrated to sites and services we already know.
As the quality improves, they become more and more valuable
Will this Replace the Humans?
There’s a huge “fear factor” here with this and hey, it’s a little scary to imaging humanoid robots running everything and taking all the jobs.
First of all, humans are very self oriented creatures. They are not just going to give up all of their security when it comes down to it. It would literally have to be an all out war and because humans basically have their hands on the on/off switches, personally, I don’t see something like this anytime soon.
Is it possible, sure, in a sci-fi world. Will it replace jobs, sure it will. People have been replacing jobs for a long time with technology. It’s basically what was the emphasis of the .com boom. Remember all of the companies offering to revolutionize large company inbound mail systems and a number of other things humans used to have to do for convenience.
So this is no different, it’s just different platforms that use technology for convenience factor.
Having enhanced capabilities like this that are actually adopted and accepted will certainly change what people need to do and how they work. It will also allow them to do more.
Right now, most people want to do less, so you see the conflict there. Being a warrior worker, I do twice as much as most people, but probably make easily half as much money, so you see the power of human influence there. People tend to protect their security by creating and perpetuating redundant and non-efficient systems. That type of influence isn’t going to stop. If anything, this will just be one more thing to contribute to that equation…one more “layer” if you will.
But all in all, these technologies are definitely something that will empower us to do a better job and provide more efficiency, if we choose to. They can also be made another layer of non-efficiency and that part is up to the human.
In Summary (and Information in the Future)
I’ll be going into more specifics on apps and solutions to use in the future, so if you’re interested in learning more about this type of thing, let’s keep connected.
If it’s all just too much, don’t worry. You’re not going to get eaten up by AI (at least not yet). High quality human generated content is something other humans desire and in my opinion, it always will be.
For me, it’s all about how to use these different tools to make that interaction better. Ideas, higher quality code output, more efficiency leading to cost savings for highly technical items, etc.