Another episode of the Publisher Lab is here and this week, Tyler Bishop is joined by T-600 Terminator.
We’re just being silly. Tyler Bishop is, per usual, joined by Whitney Wright.
If you would prefer to watch the episode, you can find it on our YouTube channel.
It’s a week full of AI news, as you may have come to expect. There’s a new WordPress AI content generator, OpenAI and GPT-5, and SEOs give their opinion on the new Google Search Generative Experience.
It’s important in this time not to jump to conclusions about the relevance of certain technologies—people originally thought AI would eliminate the need for graphic designers and products like Adobe Photoshop, yet Adobe’s AI additions to Photoshop really wowed early-access users and proved how relevant Photoshop can be during these changing times.
WordPress’s newest AI content generator
Jetpack, a popular WordPress plugin, has recently launched a new AI content generator called Jetpack AI Assistant. This plugin aims to integrate artificial intelligence directly into the WordPress editor, enabling content generation within the publishing workflow. The AI assistant serves as a writing assistant, offering a conversational user interface where users can interact with the AI system through writing prompts. It also provides additional features such as adaptive writing tones, allowing users to select different writing styles.
There are plenty of products out there that are going to give big promises about AI, so it is important during this time to remain aware so you’re not taken advantage of by paying for multiple AI plugins when there are free alternatives available online. AI tools, like ChatGPT4, are more effective in generating quality content compared to plugins like Jetpack AI Assistant, which are merely a decorative layer over existing AI systems.
When considering other similar tools or plugins, we recommend caution—be wary of promises and save your money. Trying out AI is important but be cautious about being fooled into thinking a plugin is using AI when it only covers a small portion of the workflow.
While exercising caution about new AI tools with big promises, we also encourage publishers to experiment with AI tools. There are plenty of amazing AI tools out there that can help publishers with their workflow and increase efficiency.
OpenAI is not yet training GPT-5
The CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman, has acknowledged that there is still significant work to be done before the development of the new GPT-5 model. Altman’s comments come in response to concerns raised by industry experts, including prominent figures like Elon Musk, who have called for a pause in training AI systems more powerful than GPT-4. Altman clarified that OpenAI has not commenced training GPT-5 and currently has no plans to do so in the near future. To address these concerns, OpenAI is implementing measures such as external audits, red teaming, and safety tests.
Altman emphasized OpenAI’s support for self-regulation and expressed opposition to regulating smaller AI startups. He also mentioned working with lawmakers to navigate the complexities of AI development. While it seems like Altman is genuinely concerned about regulating AI, it is difficult to view these statements as purely altruistic.
GPT-4 is much better than its predecessor, GPT-3, including increased accuracy, better syntax, and semantic understanding. We speculate that GPT-5 won’t be as drastic as a change as from GPT-3 to GPT-4.
SEO experts express disappointment over Google’s new Generative Search Experience
According to a survey conducted by Lily Ray, the Senior Director of SEO and Head of Organic Research at Amsiv Digital, many SEOs are not particularly impressed with the new Google Search Generative Experience (SGE). This survey was reported by Search Engine Roundtable. SGE has started rolling out to some users, but a significant number of SEOs do not consider it an improvement compared to traditional Google Search.
Lily Ray conducted a poll on Twitter with 800 votes, where only 12% considered SGE a significant improvement, while 37% believed it did not improve upon the traditional search experience. The majority, comprising 51% of the respondents, indicated a lukewarm or indifferent response. However, the opinion of SEOs may not be the most reliable when it comes to assessing the value of a new feature or change. SEOs often have their own biases and preferences that might not align with the needs of general users.
Regarding my personal experience with the SGE, I have found it to be helpful and beneficial. It introduces new features and enhancements to search that I believe are positive. However, balancing the requirements of an AI chat-based experience and a search engine might result in losing users who prefer the simplicity of traditional search.
In certain cases, AI can be more suitable, such as when seeking information, accomplishing tasks, or finding multifaceted answers. However, for tasks like finding a list of websites or local businesses, a chatbot or AI-generated response might not be the ideal solution. Fundamentally, the SGE serves as a bridge toward a potentially better search experience. While it has its merits, it still has room for improvement.
As for the future rollout of the SGE, I haven’t come across any specific information regarding its global availability. The current phase is experimental, and Google has provided only broad timelines. Based on past experiences, these timelines can be subject to change, so it’s unlikely that the rollout will happen sooner than anticipated. User behavior and preferences also don’t change overnight, so any significant changes to the search experience will take time to be fully embraced.
If you are interested in trying out the SGE, I recommend getting on the waitlist. In my case, I received access shortly after signing up. It’s worth exploring to get a glimpse of what Google envisions for the future of search. However, remember that immediate changes shouldn’t be expected, so don’t get too caught up in the hype.
Finally, it’s crucial to remember that AI-generated search results are not infallible. Users must exercise caution and verify the information from reliable sources. AI can enhance content creation and digital publishing by streamlining processes and improving efficiency. It allows you to work smarter, not harder, particularly in tasks like research and creating presentations. Nevertheless, it’s essential to review and fact-check the AI-generated content to ensure accuracy.
Answering your questions
On our YouTube channel for the podcast, stuart6359 asked how to make their WordPress site available in markdown format for better accessibility with chatbots and other future applications. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
- WordPress and the REST API: WordPress makes it easy to achieve this goal since it has a REST API. First, ensure you are familiar with the WordPress REST API. The URL parameters for the REST API typically follow this structure: “your-site.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”. You can search for “WordPress REST API URL” to find the exact format.
- Explore the API: To begin, enter the REST API URL in your browser. Before doing so, download the JSON reader Chrome extension, which will make the output more readable and understandable. When you access the URL with the extension enabled, you’ll see a comprehensive page resembling code but containing all the default fields and custom fields in your WordPress site, including content, author, dates, titles, descriptions, images, and more.
- Convert JSON to Markdown: Download the JSON using the JSON reader plugin or extension. Numerous free tools are available for converting JSON to markdown. Simply search for “convert JSON to markdown” and choose a suitable converter. You can either convert a portion of the file for testing or the entire file. The resulting markdown document will resemble a Word document, with fields preceded by hashtags (#), such as author, date, and so on.
- Markdown Editors: Next, you’ll need a markdown editor to work with the converted markdown files. Many markdown editors are available, some of which have web-based versions. Search for “free markdown writer” or a similar term to find web-based tools. Ulysses is a popular markdown app for Mac users, but alternatives exist for different platforms.
- Front Matter and CMS: Once you have your content in markdown format, you can upload it to any CMS (Content Management System) and style it as desired. Additionally, you can add front matter to different parts of your markdown content. Front matter allows you to specify metadata or labels for specific sections of your content. You can find front matter CMS options and read more about the concept for further customization.
- Re-importing to WordPress: If needed, you can re-import the markdown files and their associated custom fields back into WordPress. To achieve this, search for tutorials or tools that enable the conversion process from markdown to JSON and then back into WordPress. Tools like Zapier can automate and simplify these steps. Search for “convert markdown files to WordPress” or similar queries to explore available options.
By following this process, you can have your WordPress site’s content available in markdown format. This format provides flexibility and portability for future use with chatbots, different platforms, and even AI-powered tools. You can tailor your content for specific platforms, optimize it for various purposes, and easily incorporate new features or technologies as they emerge.
Send in your comments and questions
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