Wix’s new tool can create entire websites from questions.


Image Credits: miakievy / Getty Images

What can one expect from a website developer in 2023? That’s a question many startups — and incumbents — are trying to answer as the landscape shifts, driven by trends in generative AI. Do no-code drag-and-drop interfaces still make sense in the age of queries and media-generation models? And what’s the right level of abstraction that won’t alienate more advanced users?

Wix, the long-serving site builder, is betting that today’s customers don’t particularly care to spend time customizing every aspect of their site.

The company’s new AI Site Generator tool, announced today, lets Wix users express their ideas and generate a complete website with a homepage, internal pages, and text and images — as well as business-specific sections for events, bookings and more. Wix founder and CEO Avishai Abrahami said the goal was for customers to get “real value” as they build their sites and grow their businesses.

“The AI ​​Site Generator leverages our domain expertise and nearly a decade of experience with AI to use the models to generate high-quality content, custom-made designs and layouts,” said Abraham. We’ve done lots of testing and lots of in-depth conversations with users to make sure we’re offering real value. That’s why we chose to do it now.

Image Credits: Wix

The AI ​​Site Generator may be Wix’s biggest AI experiment to date, but it’s not the company’s first. Wix’s recently launched text creator taps into ChatGPT to give users the ability to generate personalized content for specific sections of a website. Meanwhile, its AI template text generator generates all text for a site. Alongside Wix’s AI image editing, optimization and creation tools, there’s also an AI domain generator for developing website names.

According to Abraham, Wix isn’t jumping on the AI ​​bandwagon because it’s expensive in Silicon Valley at the moment. It sees technology as a real way to streamline and simplify the process of building websites for clients, from back-end business functionality, infrastructure, payment capabilities and more.

Image Credits: Wix

As far as Abraham goes, small businesses in particular struggle to open and maintain locations, causing them to miss out on revenue opportunities. In the year In 2022 survey According to Top Design Firms, a directory of finding creative agencies, nearly 27% of small businesses still don’t have a website and low traffic, followed by “advanced” functions and increasing costs, are the main challenges they face. website.

AI Site Generator takes a number of queries – any description of sites – and uses a combination of in-house and third-party AI systems to generate the intended site. With a chatbot-like interface, the tool asks a series of questions about the site and business behavior, attempting to translate this into a custom web template.

While Wix’s AI creates the site’s design and images, ChatGPT generates the text for the website.

Other platforms, like SpeedyBrand, which TechCrunch recently described, have done this very thing. But Wix says its AI site generator is unique in that it can automatically build e-commerce, programming, food ordering and event ticketing components, according to the client’s specifications and requirements.

Image Credits: Wix

“With the AI ​​Site Generator, users can create a complete website, where the design matches the content, as opposed to a template where the content matches the design,” Abrahami said. “This generates a unique website that maximizes the experience of relating to its content.”

Customers aren’t limited to AI site generator designs, a not-so-subtle acknowledgment that AI isn’t at the point where it can replace human designers — assuming it ever gets there. The full Wix editing tools – both manual and AI-driven – are available to AI Site Generator users, allowing them to make improvements and changes at will.

New editing-focused capabilities come with the AI ​​Site Generator, such as the AI ​​Page and Section Creator, which allows customers to add a new page or section simply by specifying their needs. The upcoming Object Sweep will allow users to extract and apply objects from images, while the new AI assistant tool will make site improvements (such as adding a product or change design) and create personalized strategies based on analytics and site trends.

Image Credits: Wix

“The current AI revolution is starting to unleash the true potential of AI,” Abraham said. “We believe AI will reduce complexity and create value for our users, and we will continue to be a trailblazer.”

But there is reason to be wary of the technology.

As The Verge’s James Vincent recently wrote A piece, generative AI models are changing the economy of the web – making it cheaper and easier to generate low-quality content. Newsguard, a company that provides tools for checking news sources exposed Hundreds of ad-supported sites featuring generative AI generated misinformation with generic noise.

Cheap AI content also has risks. to close Search Engines – The Future Small Businesses Definitely Don’t Want. Models like ChatGPT excel at crafting search engine friendly marketing copy. But this spam can often bury legitimate sites, especially those created by those who lack the means or knowledge to optimize their content with the right keywords and programs.

Even generative AI used with the best of intentions can go wrong. Thanks to a phenomenon known as “illusion,” AI models sometimes confidently produce facts or spew venomous and offensive opinions. And The generator AI is shown Pretend Copyrighted work.

So what steps is Wix taking to combat all this? Abraham did not specifically mention it. But Wix stressed that it uses “bevy” of tools to control spam and abuse.

“Our AI solutions are tried and tested on high-quality data and we build workflows using the knowledge gained from usage and hundreds of millions of websites,” Abrahami said. “We have many models to prevent and detect model attacks, including AI, so that we can create a safe digital space where users’ basic rights are protected. ChatGPT has a natural model to prevent the generation of inappropriate content; we plan to use the OpenAI moderator.”

Time will tell how successful this strategy will be.

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