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WordPress AI: Generative content & blocks pt. 2

I’ve already talked about how we’re exploring generative content in WordPress. Like all things in the AI field, things have already progressed! I thought I’d share some incremental progress and improvements to the WordPress Block Editor assistant to provide some details on the challenges and improvements.

It’s striking to me that small incremental improvements make a large difference to productivity and quality of life. This week we’ve focused on the user experience in using the generate assistant.

Content streaming

We’ve overhauled how data is sent to the copilot assistant, so content, blocks and layout are streamed out in real time. Any user of ChatGPT will be familiar with this concept.

Given that Gutenberg blocks and layouts are significantly more complex that the text stream that ChatGPT provides, it took a lot of work to partially parse content as it’s being updated. The Gutenberg block parser is not built for streaming updates, so we implemented a progressive streaming parser for blocks to achieve this:

As we now stream the response to the prompt, not only does the user get immediate feedback on what they’re likely to get, it’s also now possible to cancel the in-progress writing to correct/provide further guidance to the WordPress AI. You can press ESCAPE to halt the output and provide a new prompt.

Context aware editing

We’ve also improved the context of the assistant considerably. The AI will now understand the data and content elsewhere in the post to provide more accurate and contextual information. For example, in the video shown above for the prompt “make a league table”, we got a soccer team table. We will now provide a contextual answer depending on the post content and title:

This also applies to content throughout the post, and the AI has an understanding of what content came before and what content follows. This lets the user speak more naturally and briefly to LLM.

So, that’s a quick look behind the scenes on what were working on and how things are progressing with WordPress AI. You can also check out part one here if you missed it. Stay tuned for more!

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