Episode 185: Talking Bertha.AI With Vito Peleg

Show Summary

Rob Cairns sits down with Vito Peleg and talks Bertha.ai.

Show Highlights:

  1. What is Bertha.Ai
  2. How does Bertha.AI work.
  3. What is Artificial Intelligence.
  4. How does Artificial Intelligence work.

Show Notes


Hi Everybody, Robert Cairns here, today, we are going to talk about AI products. And I’m here with my Rock star Vito Peleg like hey Vito, how you doing today?

Good. Rob thanks for having me.

Not too bad, and you are a rock star. So we might as well get to a little intro, tell us a little bit about yourself why I call you a rock star and how you got into this digital game.

Right. So I actually started building websites when I was 14 years old that my parents place and you know, taking over the internet and using geo cities, figuring out HTML and all of these kinds of stuff. And the first few websites that I built were for my other passion, which was music at the time. So I did like a small website for my band and a small website for for bands that I liked and stuff like this. And so from there, and the next 10 years after, after doing my 20s I actually pursued a music career that brought me here to the UK, we got signed and started touring all over Europe and the world. And it was like a rock band that I was leaving. So that’s where you got that Rockstar reference there. But that was also when I got introduced to building websites for clients as a freelancer, literally from the back of a van when I was touring the world. And you know, stealing Wi Fi from McDonald’s, as we’re passing by on the autobahn and stuff. And then once I turned 30, and we kind of put a put an end to the music chapter. And I started building an agency here in London in the UK. Within a couple of years, I had a team of 12 that were all, you know, building hundreds of websites, we ended up building a little more than 800 websites. And from there, we kind of continued the journey scaling up to with a product called Kareem, which is a system that helps web agencies and freelancers, build websites efficiently, you know, remove a lot of the friction when it comes to the service delivery. But there’s one thing that always kept bugging me, which is generating content on the web. And that is always a struggle. And Rob, as you know, you’re building websites for clients yourself. So you know, it’s always like really challenging. And so when this AI technology came about, just last year, I was all over this thing, trying to figure out how I can utilize this new quantum leap in AI technology for our industry. And that’s what gave birth to birth.ai, where I’m a co founder with Andrew Palmer, who is also one of the, you know, more renowned figures in our space.

There’s no question Andrew is and shout out to Andrew love them dearly. So he’s doing a lot of great stuff as well. So let’s talk about AI because content, as we know, and you alluded to his struggle, and you know, we know the problem building websites is you go to a client, you say here’s your schedule, I want your content in 30 days. Oh, yeah. Rob, I’ll get your content in 30 days, 30 days sets, where’s my content? 60 days sets, where’s my content? 90 days hits, where’s my content? And then you say to the client, why don’t we just hire a copywriter? And he says, Oh, that’s too much money. And I keep saying well, waiting 90 days is costing you money as well. So how’s AI fit into this whole mess?

Right? So this mess we’re actually tackling with with Atari even a different angle to it was the is the platform that helps web agencies deliver those websites. And with with that, it’s a lot about how we frame it for the client. So for what you described, Rob, the first problem is defining it as a 30 day project because we know that when it comes to actually doing the work, it doesn’t take 30 days it takes a few hours a few days. know what to do, right? But then that’s the challenge. Clients don’t really know what to do. So we’re just as professionals, we’re actually enhancing this pain by telling them that it’s a 30 day project, or 40 days project two months thing, and then they never get to it because they don’t know how to approach this. And we, none of us have 30 days to do anything in this world, let alone something that we’ve never tried before. And we only need to do it once. So, so that is kind of how where, where the challenge comes from the professionals point of view, but from the clients point of view, is actually facing that blank sheet and saying, now what, you know, and really, it’s not only our challenge that client has have the this is a writer’s block has been, has been plaguing writers for centuries now, as an IT.

Sure, sure, as I have a couple friends of mine who are either active journalists with big Toronto newspapers or retired journalists, and we all know, it’s such as writer’s block, it’s the creative block. So I know, we know craters do really well, when we’re on a roll. And we don’t do so well, when we’re having a bad day. Like, it’s time to walk away and say, I need to do something else today, really, and it’s an ongoing issue. So I agree with you. So how, let’s have the argument because I have to have it with you. Sure. Some people will say to me, that AI produces lousy copy, what is your answer to that?

And it used to. So basically, if we need to look at this technology as a as a new thing that is coming into the market. So if you look at smartphones, you know, like 15 years ago, no way it could have done what we’re what we’re doing with smartphones nowadays, or, or any other technology, really the way that technology evolves is always as as more of an exponential growth, then then a linear kind of growth over time. So up until a couple of, or operty. Last year, a the most advanced AI model for writing that was out there on the market was, let’s say equivalent to the size of a tennis ball, right, Rob, and then a new technology came into the market that in comparison to that tennis ball is now the size of the Earth. And when I mean like when I mean like the size, what makes an AI powerful is the amount of data that is fed into it. So the more data is fed into the into the model, the more intuitive it’s going to get, the smarter it’s going to become, the more responsive and creative it can be when it comes to generating responses to what you’re speaking to it. So you want to think about this really like like, even like a person, you know, if it’s a baby, you can talk to him as much as you want, but they’re not going to talk back and they’re not going to be smart and creative about the responses. Because they don’t have that capacity of knowledge that a grown up has, or an expert has on their field. Now with with with the latest advances over the past year, it it finally reached that point where when you ask the AI for something, if you ask it properly, if you know how to pull that information out of it, it’s going to give you answers that are usually smarter and more creative than even the more savvy writers on the market.

So because we’re all headed to AI products, and then I’m going to talk some generalities here, and then we’ll get into some specifics. I use an AI product. John uses an AI product, the same one, we both feed the same information in what’s the say the AI products not going to generate the same responses, right. And then the question is from a Google perspective, is that a good thing? Because we all know, Google penalizes duplicate content for things like SEO, etc. What do you say to that response?

So this is this comes from the way that the AI works. So we’re kind of used to thinking about technology and, and interacting with software in in the way that you would interact with with an app or you know, with Facebook or basically with the traditional way of development, which is just if and then right? It just conditions over conditions over conditions. That is the old way of developing. Ai works differently. The AI doesn’t respond to if I input it this content, then I’m going to output this exactly. content, what it does, it’s again, more like a human brain. When I say this sentence right now, it’s, I might have said something similar to this in the past. But really, I never, I didn’t know that I’m going to express this in this exact words, four sentences ago from what I’m speaking right this instant. So the way that the human mind string words together, is through a string of thought, it’s not, it’s not a copy paste mechanism that I just kind of just, quote, verbatim, you know, from something that I’ve seen before, I’m just gonna take a few characters and think about the next few characters and you know, then string my way through a sentence and through a paragraph and through a story, really. So this is how AI works, it doesn’t give you like chunks of content, it actually works based on what they call tokens, which tokens can be like three characters, four characters at a time, even if it’s breaking the word in the middle. So it could start by saying the, and then figure out because of the context that it was there before, add an ar e, and then it’s there, you know, and then it’s going to continue from that point and continue creating additional tokens and additional strings, until you get like a coherent story out of it at the end of the output. So that is basically that works in exactly the same way as rider does. And a rider has the same level of chance of hitting the plague, terrorism check, you know, as as an AI at this point.

So that’s a really good explanation. And thank you for now, let’s talk about your product in specific How long did it take Andrew and yourself and your team to develop? Bertha da, Di.

So we started developing this as an add on for or basically a feature for Tony. And I thought that would be an awesome feature for our agencies and freelancers to empower their clients to just click a button, and instead of trying to figure out how to write the content, the content will be presented in front of them. And then they can just decide, yes, this is the right one, or no, this doesn’t match, you know. And as we were developing this, initially, this, I just saw the possibilities that I saw the power of this thing, I thought, Man, this is way stronger than just one feature out of 100 features that we have on our platform. So let’s make a product out of it. And that’s when I reached out to Andrew and Andrew and I’ve been friends for for a long time now almost three years, we met in, you know, through WordPress and in in our conference a couple of years ago, and it was possible to meet in person. And since then we’ve been basically chatting on a weekly basis and partnering up with all kinds of different things. So that felt like a really good thing too, or a good opportunity to take our friendship and partnership to the next level and develop this product together. And and that took from the first time that I actually got into playing with this technology until the time it was out in the market, it was about six months or so.

So that’s a really good story. And why birth guide AI versus some of the other AI products are out there. What is your platform do better than some of the other ones do not do? Well,

right. So the first thing is the only one that is integrated to where the action happens, where we’re built into the website itself. So that when you’re generating the content, you’re actually pushing this directly into the page builders in WordPress or the Gutenberg UI, and or into your SEO tools, the SEO plugins and all of those kinds of things. So it just kind of cuts the middleman of copy pasting and from other platforms or logging into other platforms and then doing it, they’re copying it into your own website. So it just happens where the action is. That is the big one. Now more than this, there’s all kinds of AI tools that are case specific. So as I mentioned the beginning, Rob, when it comes to this, to this technology, it’s not enough that it knows so much. It’s a matter of how you pull the right information out of it. And so some people that are really amazing email marketers, or they’ve been dealing with, like support for years, they created AI based tools using the same models for generating emails, right. So you probably find a few Chrome extensions that go directly into your Gmail account and they would automate the writing or the systemize and automate a lot of the email writing that you have, because these people have a lot of experience with writing emails, some others are really geared toward a straight up like marketing talk. So you would find some tools that are creating content for social media and for Facebook ads, Google ads, and so on, where Andrew and I are very, very, or our experience is very powerful in his in websites. So the the level of intricacy and the creativity that you would get from our outputs, when it comes to creating website copy is really unparalleled compared to anything else on the market.

Yeah, people don’t realize that certain tools are geared better to certain tasks, and that’s something you’ve touched on, and I wholeheartedly agree, I’m more a, get the right tool to do the job. And then move from there, instead of getting one tool that does everything, like the Swiss Army knife, approach. And perfect, that’s not always my approach, I prefer this specific approach.

I agree this, there’s it all, I believe that a lot of it comes from, you know, as a product maker, I see it myself, a lot of these focus points comes just from the experience of the founder, or the founding team, you can only bring to the table what you know. So you can try and create, you know, I can, I can try and take a stab at writing, like, amazing emails, you know, that are very specific, I might do a pretty decent job, because I’ve been writing emails for for a long time. But it’s not gonna, it’s all going to be at the same level as someone that this is their sole focus, this has been their sole research topic for the past decade or so. So, yeah, so that’s why it looks. So we also have some marketing related stuff. And as you know, Rob, I’m, I’m also, I’ve had quite a few, quite a bunch of experience in marketing. But again, it’s nothing compared to, you know, building more than 1000 websites between Andrew and myself, and going through the challenge that you described at the beginning with each client and each project, and taking content and fitting it into the right direction. And, you know, so we brought all of this experience, and we share this experience with the AI. So now that everyone can access it in a click of a button.

Now, you mentioned that your your product is both geared to page builders and Gutenberg. I have a path to Gutenberg cause any big challenges during the setup for it? It did. Can you share some of those?

So first of all, like, you know, most text areas are basically fields. So if we go in technical a little bit, a text field is a text field, you know, it’s basically it’s a basic HTML element for almost three decades now. Right? And, but Gutenberg does it differently. So we had to account for how Gutenberg generates a, or allow you to write inside those different blocks. And while you know, we did like one function that worked for 90% of the web, then we had to do the 10% extra percent for Gutenberg and, you know, some, some very specific use cases. So that was basically the the biggest challenge there. But, you know, like, like every challenge, if you put your mind to it, you could figure it out.

It’s true. And as you say that I’m kind of smirking and smiling at you and nodding my head because I don’t I don’t know if you know Vito, I’m kind of all in with Gutenberg these days. And I think I know, Andrews played a lot with it as well. And I kinda, you know, it’s kind of divided our community a little bit at times, and I think good on on you for developing Bertha God AI for Gutenberg and for page builders. So you’ve, you’ve realized there’s a market in both places. And I think that’s really important with any product moving forward, to be honest with you.

I’m still on the fence with the Gutenberg thing. So we’re using this internally within my within my companies for for blog posts, you know, mostly, but we’re not at a place where we’re using this to build pages and so on, we’re still we’re still reliant on page builders for for this purpose. And I have a feeling that we will for at least one more year or two years, two additional years before we take the dive, you know,

yeah, I have at the time of this record, those who have followed me on social media know, I’ve taken the dive. I’m in the process. I’m moving my agency site to Gutenberg. So hopefully by the time this is released, I’ll be fully moved. And frankly, I did it more as a as an experiment to say, Okay, if I can do this, what can we what can we do with Gutenberg? And and I’m not knocking page builders, I’m very much a in the camp that use a tool that works for you. And, and I think we need to stop worrying about that. But that’s an interesting discussion. So, you know, we got it, we got to keep deciding what to do there. In terms of bertha.ai, how many do you mind sharing? Like, how roughly how many people do you have using it? Or would you rather rather not at this point?

Well, we launched this two months ago, we’re now a little more than 1000 people that are already using the tool. And Black Friday that just ended was a great time for us, especially as a brand new product you rely on, on early feedback from users and, you know, early adopters, people that are willing to jump on something that is trying to, to change the landscape. to something that is completely different. So what what we’ve seen from our users, I think one of the phrases that I liked the most is one of the users quality, the Lorem, ipsum. Killer. So basically, just trying to change that the way that we approach creating content, so instead of dropping Lorem, Ipsum, just dropping these in there, it’s still early, I think that every website in the world, eventually he’s gonna be relying on on a tool like Bertha or Bertha, in exactly the same way that when you and I started building websites, Rob, we were doing it all manually write HTML. And before there was CSS, then CSS came in the game. And we wrote up the CSS, and all those kinds of stuff, but now with page builders, and with Gutenberg and all the things that we’re just talking about, and it just got down 90% of the work. So this is exactly the the expected and the actual result that you would get by leveraging technology for all kinds of aspects of the website, not just the design, but now with content as well.

Yeah, it’s funny, you mentioned that, and I’m sitting here thinking taking myself way back. And one of the first websites I ever did was actually a resource page. Because I, I worked in technical services, and I got fed up with friends and family calling me for internet links. So I actually created a website to say, by the way, go here, and don’t call me. And, and that was all HTML based. And then we moved to things like page builders and WordPress. And it’s funny because the same people who are using page builders, to increase their speed, increase their time, can’t get their head wrapped around AI products, and realize it’s the same thing for content that a page builder and a CMS is for developing websites.

Exactly. Well, you can see that in all kinds of different aspects of our day to day. And you know, even when we’re talking about SEO tools, you remember what a nightmare it was to properly. You know, like, map out what what your words you need to do and figure out the density. And we would actually count the times that you would write the state, the string in the text manually, you would write, write it up into Word, and then you would write and you would count that you have at least seven, but not more than 10. You know, so, all these things are like, you know, we forget what these are. These are things that are fully automated for us nowadays, and how many H twos, how many H ones? Only one is the answer, how many ha added colic to hear some bullet points. So all of these things we’ve done manually. And now the SEO tools just give you everything that you need in there. But then again, you have stuff like Photoshop, so when I started the you know, designing in, in school, we have this kind of graphic design class, and we’re using chorale I don’t know if you remember that software, I used

to do work in CorelDRAW. So I do remember that

so then then Photoshop Photoshop came into the into the into the game and it made it a lot easier. And now Canva came into the game and made it even easier. So technology always moves you know, so you just want to make sure that you keep moving with it and and if you do, you’re just going to be in the forefront offering or getting an edge over those people that are lagging behind.

Yeah, I saw heartedly agree with you. I mean, you know, and now we’ve all got voice assistants, I don’t dare say the word because I’ve got one next to me and you know, it will start to talk to you and I very quickly, you know, at home, I’ve got, you know, I can say this because this is being recorded after but I’m putting in a for my mom over Christmas, I’ll be putting in a ring doorbell and you know, technology changes. And, you know, everybody complains about technology enhancements, but honestly, where would our life be without them? Right veto? I mean, I agree.

And, you know, I think that one of the more common push backs on on the latest advances of AI is now what’s gonna happen all of the the internet is gonna be spammed out with content that was generated by machines. And but really that already happened.

already. You know, before we went to record, you and I were talking about LinkedIn, and we were talking about messages and stuff for, we all know the phishing scams. If I look at my email this morning, I’ve already got 10 SEO companies saying to me, we can help your search ranking. And I’m like, did you bother? If you found me, then obviously, it’s working? And did you bother to look at what I do? Right? And, and then you toss in the phishing scams and the fake government emails I get every day. And the internet’s already dealt with? I mean, yeah, you know, it hasn’t changed.

Yeah, it’s just been automated. A lot of these things. But, you know, people have been knocking on doors before there was the internet, and now and then they were called calling people and now they called email, and then they called friend request to you. And, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s our behavior. That is, that is just us doing this. It’s not that it’s not technology that, that enhances this or even you know, when people talk about social media and Facebook and how that is bringing out or creating divisiveness in society, and all those kinds of things. It’s just the same, you know, like when, when you were there, before the age of social media, you will just get all of your data, all of the information from the people around you. It’s not that you were really exposed to everything. Because you know, like, social media is going to show you what you know of, but it’s going to show you more of what you already know. All right. Now, I’ve already happened, you know, like people that were geared towards a certain political, a side from their family, they just kept in most cases, they just kept with the same thing as they were growing up, because my dad is to my grandfather used to, and you know that. So it’s just human behavior that that is creating those scenarios. But if I’m going, oh, sorry, I went off track. No, it’s okay.

I mean, human human behavior. I’ve I’ve always said for years, and you know me well enough, I say that the behaviors are problem, not the tool used to cause the behavior. So you know, and I’ve been using the internet since the days a bit net. And before today’s a bit, and I use Bolton board system, so I’ve been in this game longer than most people. So and, by the way, this kind of stuff was going on before Facebook, so people need to realize it’s the people not the right, not not the tool. So So going back to berta.ai, what is your current pricing is as somebody wants to get in on Bertha, your straight up pricing.

So the pricing changes, I’m not gonna che and we’re not going to describe exact numbers, you I guess you got to go to bertha.ai forward slash pricing, and see where it stands now, because as we’re growing, and as we’re building more stuff, the prices change accordingly. But I will say that one of the cool things about this, so there’s basically two variables to the pricing. One is the number of words that can be generated from the AI every single month. So every month you get like a, like a pool of words that you can generate out of this. And this is, this is in all of the plans. It’s in the 10s of 1000s, if not more, but what makes Bertha really special is the ability to install this on multiple websites. So this way, if you have multiple clients, and we’ve seen this with agencies and freelancers that are basically going for the higher plans that have a bunch of websites on them, and then offering this as an add on to their care plans for the clients. The client is generating blog posts or they have a woo woo shop with a bunch of products or they have an LMS with lessons or content that they need to do, or, or maybe like you love when you’re creating those podcast, show notes, and all of those kinds of things. And this is perfect, you know, you can generate content on the go, every time that you need it without needing to face the blank sheet, you know, just click the button and you go right there. So agencies and freelancers, a creatively started charging an additional fee for this service for the ability to use the AI within people’s websites. And I love that I think that’s really an awesome idea.

Do you offer a I can’t remember. Do you offer a white label service for agencies? Or have you thought about that?

We don’t actually. But just because there haven’t been any requests with a tellem. We’ve done that, because that was like a really, it made it made a lot of a lot of sense over there. For this one, not so much at the moment. But I can also say that with a few lines of CSS, you can remove any mention and, you know, just hide display none the logo.

Yeah. Yeah, that is that is so true. And and, you know, I think the community’s really done well with this one, because both you and Andrew are two of the most energetic people I know in this space. So that’s, thank you know, your energy is always really good. You’re both approachable. You both are very generous with your time. I mean, I’ve had many conversations with both you over the years. And I think I think that’s really important. And you’re always vido very good with your time. And for that I say thank you. I appreciate that.

It’s my pleasure. Have a it’s always fun to catch up and do even for not recording just to just to see what you’ve been up to man.

Yeah, it never ends. So if somebody wants to get a hold you talk about Agia room or bertha.ai or anything else you’re working on the house the best, right?

So you can find me on Twitter, Vito Peleg or you can find me in one of the two Facebook groups so you can search for Atarim on Facebook, or search for Bertha on first boot on Facebook. And we have really active communities for both of these awesome products. So just come on in. And yeah, learn and grow with the community.

Yeah, Vito, thanks for your time. And please take care of yourself and be well and be safe.

Thank you. You too, Rob.


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