Let’s talk: WordPress Core & Artificial Intelligence

WordPress CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. always seeks to provide a stable foundation for folks to build upon directly and extend as they see fit. Even if a new technology is not actually included in Core, the project aims to enable innovation and progress through extension (plugins, themes, etc.) wherever possible and sensible.

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) technology has made huge strides in recent years, with the potential to revolutionize how humans build and interact with websites, companies, and individuals. As the WordPress community dives into the world of AI, the responsibility and role the Core WordPress software has in this journey has come into question. This post attempts to build clarity around how Core aims to function during this evolving time, while encouraging folks to share what would be helpful for them to integrate AI into the experiences they seek to create with WordPress.

WordPress blocks describe both content and layout; since many of the recent AI strides come in the form of large language models (LLMs), having a common “language” of blocks can be an incredibly powerful way to bridge the communication between AI technologies, developers, and users alike. With the right foundation in place, developers will be able to integrate AI into their plugins and themes, making it easier than ever to create intelligent and personalized experiences for WordPress users.

In some cases, it’s a matter of using what’s already in place, like well-defined and structured blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. markup, while in other cases, it might be new extendable entry points or even integrating small built-in AI models, for example to better learn user preferences that don’t require third party integration. The impact extends to anyone using WordPress with AI, expanding the ways users can interact and modify software and keeping open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. even more relevant in today’s world. For example, imagine building a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party that extends the in-progress command center that allows someone to describe to an AI-powered interface what they want to see built:

An imaginary video of what might one day be possible

As this work rapidly evolves and folks begin exploring, let’s use this post as a gathering point for early feedback, ideas, and questions. To focus the discussion, here are some questions to consider:

  • How would you want to see Core updated so it can be extended in ways accessible to AI technologies?
  • For those  building, or trying to build, with AI today, how does Core currently enable or hinder this effort?
  • Are there any concerns that you think the community should be aware of as this space is explored?

Please share your thoughts below and let’s discuss this as a broader community. After a few weeks, I’ll do my best to summarize what’s come out of this discussion for future reference for the community. If you’re interested in working on this and shaping how 43% of the internet interacts with AI, join #core and #core-editor as any exploratory work will start from either avenue. 

Props @jeffpaul, @desrosj, @matveb, @priethor, @richtabor, @mcsf, @andraganescu for helping with the content of this post and @jameskoster for the video exploring a futuristic look at what could be possible.

#artificial-intelligence, #discussion