WordPress is getting a new AI plug-in that will be able to generate and edit text. As far as generative AI is concerned, there seems to be no better place for the technology than the world’s biggest blogging platform.
The tool is called Jetpack AI Assistant and is currently free for WordPress users while others that use Jetpack separately from WordPress get 20 free requests, and will have to pay a monthly $10 fee after that. This is the latest example of AI text generation software and its presence on a massive content management and blogging platform like WordPress will spread the technology further across the globe.
The assistant tool comes from Automattic, the company that owns and contributes to the development of the open-source WordPress platform. In a blog post, the Automattic team describes the tool as a “creative writing partner” that lets users “generate diverse content at your command, significantly reducing the time and effort required in content creation”.
Included videos show the tool summarising a blog post into a concise headline, adjusting the tone of text (you can pick between “formal”, “provocative” and “humorous”) and spitting out an entire blog post from a single prompt. Automattic says the tool can correct grammar and spelling, and translate between 12 languages.
Is this good news?
This may come as good news to people like me who are incredibly nervous to put themselves out there and start their own blog, worried either about generating content or keeping up with regular posting. A tool like this would give you a personalized editor that could help you come up with ideas, taking the pressure off you.
Although this integration between the website builder and AI seems like a no-brainer, I can’t shake the fear that this feature could do more harm than good in the long run.
Copywriters are already losing work as potential clients switch over to AI tools like ChatGPT and there is the concern that a lot of the web could be flooded with a lot of AI spam. Tools like ChaTtGPT are notorious for dishing out inaccurate information or being a little moody and the default copy they spit out can often be bland and obviously written by a bot.
Plus, the best thing about blogs is reading about real people’s experiences and insights, so it’s one thing to use this new Jetpack AI assistant as a tool to help ease your workload, but it’s another to be misled to believe you’re reading a real person’s thoughts.
What does a bot know about human interests and experiences like gaming, motherhood, mental health and more that it has not just stolen from the web and regurgitated out in a jumble of words with zero personality?
We could also begin to see the rise of what I would call ‘hollow blogs’; empty websites on WordPress that hold no authenticity, are written and maybe run entirely off AI and provide no useful or insightful content. At what point will we lose the privilege of trusting that whatever we are reading, there is a real person behind it?