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Welcome to Press This, the WordPress community podcast from WMR. Here host David Vogelpohl sits down with guests from around the community to talk about the biggest issues facing WordPress developers. The following is a transcription of the original recording.

David Vogelpohl: Hello everyone and welcome to Press This the WordPress community podcasts on WMR. This is your host, David Vogelpohl, I support the WordPress community through my role at WP Engine, and I love to bring the best of the community to you hear every week on press this as a reminder, you can find me on Twitter @wpdavidv, or you can subscribe to press this on iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify, or download the latest episodes at wmr.fm. In this episode we’re going to be talking about generating great content wicked fast with artificial intelligence and joining us for that conversation is someone I know very well. Glad to have on the show. I’d like to welcome Mr. Vito Peleg. Vito, welcome to press this.

Vito Peleg: Thank you. It’s good to be back, David.

DV: Yeah, that’s right. You’ve been here before I remember you’re talking about web feedback back in the day. Today we’re talking about your brand new project at birth AI. And for those listening with Vito is going to share his little bit about his WordPress centric solution that he’s built which allows you to basically harness the power of people and robots to effortlessly create awesome content for your WordPress site in seconds. WordPress based solutions, we’re really excited to learn a little bit about that. And then generally, how you think of content creation with websites so really excited for this video.

VP: So me too.

DV: All right. Well, it’s been a while since your last interview and I actually do not wait. I do I do remember this story, but I don’t think other listeners have ever it. Could you tell me your briefly tell me your WordPress origin story?

VP: Sure. So I got to know WordPress about 13 years ago, and building a few websites for myself where I used to be in a band and Rock Band and that was my first kind of dive into this space. And later on, I took the band on the road and we started touring all over Europe. And as a way of making some extra money. You know, on the side while we were driving living from a van I started building websites for clients, literally from the back of the band. basically stealing Wi Fi from McDonald’s as we were passing by. And once we turned 30 And it wasn’t really nice to live in a smelly band with four other guys anymore. We’ve got to put an end to that stage. And I started building a web agency here in London in the UK, rapidly grew to a team of 12 before pivoting to building products, first with web feedback and then turn to Amsterdam. And then now with bertha.ai With my co founder Andrew Palmer, and that you also know David Right. Sure, yeah. So we are basically trying to tackle the challenges that we had through the agency. Without him it started there and it’s still going and going strong. But we also saw a really cool opportunity. It’s the latest AI advances that were happening over the past couple of years to bring this concept into WordPress for the first time.

DV: Awesome. Well, I’m really looking forward to unpacking that with you here. Now you mentioned the story like burst in my memories as I was saying that earlier that I didn’t remember it but that was cool about the back of the van story building sites for your rock band and and kind of turning it into a freelance business. We just had to flee to Russia of oh my goodness with an EP Heroes is that right? I’m getting it right hero press eyelash last week and he talked a lot about the way the role WordPress plays and kind of changing people’s careers. I wonder if you look longingly though, on the days with the force Miller guys in the band, like I imagine you had some fun TV.

VP: We had a blast but I wouldn’t go back to living in a van anymore. That was nice for the 20s but not so much now with family and stuff. At home in front of a computer and doing what alive in a different way. As long as it’s creative, you know.

DV: I love it. I love it. Great. Well so you talk to you about your journey with the kind of freelancing were after him and WP feedback that preceded it and you kind of built up to birth AI. Can you explain what birthday AI is? Data? Yes.

VP: So, birthday eyes is a content generator that is built directly into the websites. We’re leveraging AI models to generate all types of content that you would need in different areas of the website. So from building landing pages and home pages about us pages, contact us and all of those kinds of stuff to creating full on blog posts, but then also tackling all of the SEO related stuff like creating tags, title tags and description tags at scale, creating product descriptions, courses and lessons descriptions, you know all of the stuff that we usually kind of stare at the blank sheet and try to figure out what to write. So Bertha essentially does this for us.

DV: So I used it, you know, prior to this interview, and actually a few episodes ago Vita we did a non air demo of it where we were like typing in random phrases and see what it said. And so for to break it down. Of course your listeners you can’t see it. They’re basically fields in the backend, and you’re able to generate, so help explain like how does the visual part of it work when you’re using it, like help explain to the listeners like what they would expect when they experience.

VP: So what we tried to do is we try to bring the experience to exactly where you’re writing. So you could imagine this kind of like Grammarly where it appears in every text area that you start typing so with Bertha, it’s kind of the same every text area that you would start typing in, you would see Bertha’s logo popping up in the corner. And you can click it to ask for content for this particular area from more than 40 different content templates. Now when I say templates doesn’t mean that it’s templated. But it’s more like models. So we can have like a USP or unique selling proposition or tagline for a website or what how to write the code you

DV: say when you turn it around. But when you say you’re feeding it, meaning you’re entering the content some of the content to give it an idea of what to generate, like that was what I experienced when I used it, but he kind of needed to get it going on a topic

VP: Once at the beginning when you install the plugin or if you go to the setting screen. You can give it like a like the name of the brand, or a brief description of what the company or the website is about. And then set up the target audience and tone of voice. Now the cool thing about tone of voice that this can really be anything. So one of the cool things is for users to go in there and try and type Arnold Schwarzenegger see how it starts talking chopper you know and stuff like this. And so so the tone of voice makes a lot of difference and that can also be like friendly or witty or funny or smart or you know any type of voice that you want to give Bertha and once you do that once every place that you go throughout the website inside the page builders inside the Gutenberg interface inside every field of every text field that you would find in the WordPress CLI. And sidebar we just scrolled from the side and will allow you to choose from one of those models to push it content on your feed.

DV: Yes, so like in my experience I remember I had to I put in like I would remember it asked me like what is the business do and I was like manage word processing for businesses, thinking of WP engine the company I work for course, and like it came up with some eerily close ones and like things like are almost identical to even things we had on our site, which was really interesting like thinking of topics I had said it talking about the server infrastructure and things like that. It says that was really clever. And then like we use other examples live on the air where we came up with like nonsensical things that really exists and it totally crash. I don’t know that case. But I felt like it felt it maybe it was because of that nonsensical nature of our things. We were trying to get it to write content around. But do you think that AI is even in a place right now where it can reasonably replace human authors or do you think that that’s not really what it’s supposed to be doing right now? Or how do you think about in general like is it at a spot where you could literally just drop it straight in or really feel it that

VP: you can so I would position this in it depends on the human right. So I tried to look at this as as like, you know, in a risk reward type of situation. So when you’re a client or when you’re a website operator that doesn’t know much about content. Bertha is going to be or the AI is going to be far more superior than what you can do. I even find it better than what I’m trying to ride on what I’m trying to say sometimes even on our own website, we’re using birther to illustrate things that sometimes it’s hard for us as the person that is emotionally attached to what we’re trying to do to articulate the message in a in a coherent or or Let’s even say precise way in order to save too much.

DV: So that prior example I gave when I was trying to get a direct copy for WP Engine you think that’s happening is out of like you think that’s happening enough where people actually can use it straight up as it suggested from the AI in their site, which obviously has a lot of benefits. If you’re trying to get a site put together quickly. Or just you’re kind of at you put it had writer’s block perhaps on coming up with the content. I want to think about this because like as you as you described it, though, it’s like people are engaging with the suggestions in the fields that the humans would normally enter. So I really want to understand how this relationship between the AI and the humans works or just generally and of course Bertha, but we’re gonna take our first break, we’ll be right back.

DV: Everyone welcome back to press this the WordPress community podcast on WMR. We’re in the middle of our episode talking about Bertha AI WordPress centric solution for we’re using artificial intelligence to create wicked cool content for your site in seconds. Right before the break we were talking with Vito from birth AI, a little bit about the quality of AI suggestions. Vito is really kind of surprised to hear you say that it’s very common actually these the suggestions as they are coming to switch a little bit into the kind of way that AI is for humans. So for those that aren’t using it, just as it’s written, how do you think that using Bertha supports human authorship, right.

VP: So for basically the way that it works is like the human mind thinks. So when we have accumulated knowledge over a topic or just as from our previous experience, we can talk about this the same way that we’re talking about Bertha from my my deeper experience than yours but from also from your experience using it yourself. So we have different perspectives and different viewpoints on how this particular topic should be discussed. So the AI works really the same. It’s tried to bring the description or a bit of the information that you brought in, along with hundreds of billions of lines of text that it read from all across the internet. And it’s not just going to give you like the copy paste version of it from different type of areas. It basically talks like the human mind things. So we string parts of words together, as we’re talking into forming sentences and then forming concepts and then forming stories. So if we’re talking about this in collaboration with a human want to look at this as to what am I trying to say? Or even taking it a step further or letting Bertha suggest to you what you’re trying to say and then take it from that and extending this and expanding this, from your personal experience from your deeper experience into each one of the topics that you may be talking about, like Managed WordPress. Bertha probably knows quite a lot about this because there’s a lot of information about this on the internet. But David, you’ve been doing this for so many years, you probably know more than her into keep expanding on what she started and get deeper into the topic.

DV: Sounds like the kind of like material with the benefit you would feel from this is that you’re creating content faster. And it’s been it’s because you’re using a better starting point, which is kind of funny to hear you talking about like Yeah, but that starting point was modeled on humans. So it’s not like it’s like a totally artificial start. It’s it’s it’s it modeled itself on the way humans talk about these topics, suggests its own version of that. And then from there, you basically can spin it and so I could imagine like using this on a site or page on building, just like drop the content blobs in there and then go back and edit them to the way I see it.

VP: And I think that let’s say educated writers or people that have been doing this before they have they turned from being the writer to becoming the editor to exactly like you’re saying so you don’t need to work so much on trying to come up with concepts or trying to come up with with the creative ideas of conveying your message, you can add Bertha do the heavy lifting, and then you just go in and make it nicer and make it more on point regarding your your exact viewpoint. But if you’re not, then using it as is probably going to be better than what you would come up with not knowing how to do this.

DV: Yeah, that totally makes sense. I mean, there’s obviously the speed benefit from getting the suggestion and being able to edit it. You know, the other thing that stood out to me that didn’t initially stand out to me is you and I were DMing about birth as you were starting to release it, but I later saw it on your site was your reference to Ipsum Laura, and I remember from my freelance and agency days, I would always mock up pages with like, I wouldn’t use them some Lorem I wouldn’t use the final copy. I would just have the designers like just get it just describe it as best as you can and use that copy for the placeholder and not add some Lorem. So that way they can start to get a feel for like how the pages can cascade down. Is that a common use case you think people are using are the four?

VP: Yeah, and we even some of the users started calling it the lorem ipsum killer and we liked it so much that we made this you know the top line on the website, which is basically the only line on the website that wasn’t written by Bertha directly.

DV: Oh, really? That’s cool. The whole Bertha daddy website on the homepage is written by the AI. Exactly.

VP: And we tried to make this almost religiously and so that we wouldn’t touch it with a human hand. But even just by adding the organism killer as the duck is the first tagline on the board the USP on the website. Later, we found that Bertha is starting to use this sentence and in other texts because it was fed into its description in the Settings area. So now it became part of her way of addressing the other pieces of content for the website.

DV: That’s really interesting. I have to go read back to the content now see what I think of it. But like see, you kind of mentioned that like editing the description in adding the lorem ipsum killer content into it changed its output and we’re kind of getting getting into the training side of AI are there other aspects of Bertha that allow the user to train the AI other than the description?

VP: Well, any any modification that you would made to the they would make to the four input fields. That’s the brand name the target audience, the tone of voice and the description itself is going to present completely different results. And even just by modifying just removing one word or just trying to, to say the same thing, but in a different way, will probably result in a different result and different outputs from the AI. So these are the four data points that were given to it on top of all of the information that was fed into it into the core AI model.

DV: Okay, so if I’m like super hyper nerd all into AI trading, I’m not going to get my hands real dirty here. But you’ve given it sounds like given the users the kind of like the key inputs to the outputs, versus like a super granular training approach.

VP: Yeah, we wanted to make this super simple and accessible to as many people as possible so that they can actually use it in in their own way. But we also have the, what we call the long form content generator, which is basically not working based on on those models or templated ideas. It allows for complete freedom that is like one of the prospects all screens in the backend of WordPress, where it’s based just a text area where as you’re typing every time that you click the button, Bertha would read back 3000 words up the page, and then continue to write from that point on. So really, it unlocks a whole different world of possibilities from writing blog posts, which was the initial use case, but to writing songs and stories and full on novels really depends on what you what the previous 3000 words were.

DV: No yeah, that long form content Mauer talking. So basically, what you wrote prior essentially becomes a training mechanism that it will then use to suggest the next batch of tax base. Exactly. That’s cool. Okay, so we got the short form containing a long form content and we got your homepage fill in the content for birthday. Very, very interesting. So have you seen other than birth this and when build like a whole site, or many, many web pages only using the content that Bertha generates not their own?

VP: Yes, 100%. We have a lot of agencies that are using this now as the way to present content to clients. So instead of sitting on the fence, waiting for days, weeks and sometimes years for the clients to take action on something that they’re not supposed to know how to do. Agencies what they do is like you were using some of the text areas to explain to the client, what you would want them to write about people just straight up click the button and create the content for them. And then again, the client becomes the editor just says, Yeah, I like that. Or, you know, that doesn’t really apply to us so much, or we actually weren’t founded in 2019. We’ll find the way in 17. So change this and change that.

DV: So very iterative way of thinking, you know, the saying I used to always say is everyone hates the website design a week after it launches, right? There’s always something they want to change about it. And the content, of course, is part of that. So no matter what you want, somebody will want to change it. It’s really interesting to think about it also in that Freelancer an agency use case where folks are sitting on their hands waiting for clients to provide content. I know that was a big theme of yours. And the feedback was it’s interesting to see it also emerged here.

VP: As we were thinking about incorporating this AI as a as a feature in after him, watch what was WP feedback. And then and then as we were starting to build this internally, it just seemed so awesome. That it would be a waste to use this just as a, like a side feature inside our big platform. It was we got to split it.

DV: That’s That’s amazing. So like along the way you’ve been talking about this, this, this data you fed into the AI and trained it with to help it learn about all these topics. I want to ask you actually about that. We’re gonna take our last break. We’ll be right back

DV: everyone welcome back to Press This the WordPress community podcast and WMR. We are in the middle of talking to Vito Peleg of birth AI business WordPress injury solution for creating content quickly inside of WordPress. Vito right before the break. You’re talking about how you knew of quite a few white websites and particularly those built by freelancers and agencies that would use the content. Bertha creates as is very little with any edits and I really like that as a solution to getting past the blocker of your clients not providing your content. Along the way, you’ve talked about how birth has been trained on uncertain types of content to learn about information. Matter of fact, I suspect you didn’t feed it information for my nonsensical examples I mentioned earlier. We’re trying to get it to suggest step five. But how did you do that? Like what content Did you feed it and why?

VP: Right? So they’re all of the latest tools that are out there regarding the content generation. They’re all using this one extremely advanced model, that is called the GPT three. And the interesting thing about GPT three is the fact that you know what I like to compare this to like, let’s say before this model came about the size of information or quantum that was fed into an AI in this world was equivalent to the size of a tennis ball, for example. And then GPT three came out and this went from a tennis ball to the size equivalent to the size of the Earth. So it’s just like a huge quantum leap. In the in the ability of training the AI or with the information that was fed into it. So that was the first thing that really unlocked the possibility for this new emerging industry over the past couple of years. Two years. or so. And but then, the way that you take this step further is by taking this core knowledge of the AI and training it based on your own experience to create what I mentioned as the templates or the different models for the different bits of text so I built more than 800 websites throughout the past decade. Andrew was well with his agency, build a couple of 1000s of websites even over the same period of time. So we took all that we know about creating website copy creating blogs, creating converting product descriptions, and we asked the right questions to the AI. So that when you feed those four pieces of information, the brand, the description, the tone of voice and the audience. It will take this along with the training that we did for each type of content, and will give you that awesome result in return. So it’s like going to an expert copywriter that knows how a website should be structured what should be on the top area, what should be next to the contact us form. For example, what should be on the how it works sections and then just telling them about your business because he done is done this so many times report. He can already talk about this, but the additional layer that was introduced with the AI is on top of our experience as people that wrote go people websites is the vast amount the world size, level of content that was fed into it initially, which makes Bertha to a certain degree, an expert on many many, many topics around the world, even on stuff that are just ideas because it can string concepts and ideas and and connect stories from different aspects throughout the Internet to articulate and understand what you’re trying to do. Now with this new concept that you were building.

DV: Very interesting. So you’re able to leverage the GPT three model effectively create your own training mechanisms through the four fields that the user enters in the back end to generate content throughout the rest of the site, plus the long before training mechanism. And then from there, you’re able to take the suggestions and effectively present them to the author in the backend and they can accept them as is or edit them. And effectively you’re able to leverage the GPC 3d model as the platform or should I say a stepping stone if you will. To build out the broader application that you’ve effectively created in the birth of AI so like a good summary there Vito?

VP: Yeah, there’s there’s three levels. In a nutshell there is the core knowledge by provided by GPT. Three, there is our knowledge that is fed into the different models and there’s the users knowledge fed into those description areas.

DV: Excellent. That’s awesome. Love it. Thank you so much for joining us today Vito.

VP: I pleasure. Thanks for having me, David.

DV: Always a pleasure. If you’d like to learn more about what Vito is up to please visit bertha.ai Again, this has been your host David Vogelpohl. I support the WordPress community through my role at WP Engine. And I love to bring the best of the community to you here every Press This.