🤖 BubbleGPT - An AI powered Bubble at what cost?

:point_up_2:tl;dr: Had this up for a while while working on other stuff. I’ve thought about the challenges Bubble has in terms of enabling an AI helper and I don’t think they involve business logic of specific apps at all, I read the T’s & C’s for the first time in a long time (and they continue to be quite fair and reasonable but don’t really limit their ability to do internal stuff with your workflow logic if they did need to), and you’ve already agreed not to sue over anything in the T’s & C’s.

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GPT4’s version of “hey, what’s the tl;dr on this” says:

The legal definition of a copy in copyright and trademark law is highly variable by context, and it’s not necessary to include someone’s app in a training dataset to accomplish the desired task of training a large language model like GPT-4. What’s missing is the blackbox part of Bubble, which is the representation of a Bubble app and its individual components. By using Bubble, you have already agreed to settle any legal claims through arbitration, and you retain ownership of your Direct User Content, including Bubble Site workflow and design. Bubble claims no ownership of your “app” and isn’t going to sell it, but it does claim some rights to analyze things, including aggregated Direct User Content.

(so I would say that my summary was pretty darn good and it’s entirely possible that I am just a large language model)

Its summary based on section 7 of the Bubble T’s & C’s is essentially the same as mine, so I’m just going to let GPT-4 post as me to the forum going forward.

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@zelus_pudding let’s say you opt out of allowing Bubble to use your app for AI training purposes (assuming this becomes a thing). Bubble then introduces a way to build apps using conversational chat that would cut down app development times by weeks and days. Are you going to refuse to use that feature? If that’s the case I think they should introduce the feature only to users who granted permission to use their apps as training material.

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Here come the silly comments!
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Jumping in with a bit of context and a few thoughts…

First of all, great discussion. I don’t have answers to all the questions, because we’re still figuring things out ourselves: AI is changing very quickly, and there’s a lot of product, technical, ethical, and legal questions we need to answer. We are still very much in learning mode.

The point of the AI residency we’ve announced is to get more visibility into some of the product and technical questions. At this point, we have a lot of ideas on how to train AIs to be helpful co-Bubblers, but we haven’t tested them. The goal of the residency is to prove out concepts, not to release production features. We won’t release anything until we have clear stances on the legal and ethical questions as well, and my working assumption is that we will most likely throw away any model that gets built during the residency, and then if we decide to launch a production feature, we will re-create the model using what we learned.

We’re committed to implementing AI in a way that’s net beneficial for our community and in line with our mission of empowering more people to be creators. This conversation is helpful, because understanding what’s top-of-mind for you all with regards to AI helps us figure out how best to do that, so I appreciate all the commentary! (And Keith, your experimentation is really cool)

What I’m hearing is there’s a lot of excitement about AI mixed in with a healthy dose of fear. The biggest fear being, will AI devalue your hard-won expertise as Bubble developers, and create a flood of cheap competition?

This is just my opinion, and I don’t have a crystal ball here, but my bet is no. Github Copilot doesn’t replace the need for programmers, because it takes a programmer to understand the output and give the AI feedback. Likewise, I don’t think any AI we build is going to replace the need for Bubble skill and expertise.

Our belief has been from day 1 that making software cheaper and faster to build on-net creates opportunity, because the easier it is to create software, the more projects get off the ground that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to be started. Since then, we’ve seen the No Code community explode… and during that same time period, the demand for traditional programming has gone up, not down. I would bet AI plays out the same way.

I do think it is important we keep on evolving Bubble to get easier and more powerful to use. I see “Bubble gets obsolete, people stop wanting to use it for things, the community and platform dies off” as a bigger threat to the long-term value of the investments you’ve all made in the Bubble ecosystem, than “Bubble gets so good at making app creation easy and robust that your expertise no longer matters”. So I hope that if we do get to a point where there’s a choice about letting us use your data (which is not inevitable; I am not convinced that training on our existing set of apps is the best technical approach), that we’d get a lot of enthusiasm about helping out. The Bubble team is firmly committed to the goal of having Bubble be a long-term, stable platform, and I think part of achieving that involves investing in new technologies like AI.

Again, though, we really appreciate all the input, and feel free to keep discussing on this thread – we may or may not reply again but we’ll read the posts

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Glad you enjoyed the tech demo, @josh! Seriously the leap from GPT3.5 to 4 is monumental. With a little more attention (longer convo/prompt length), these things will be fully capable of pretty amazing transformations with just a preamble prompt because they are such excellent one-shot learners.

Also, GPT4 can actually tell you what it learned during a given conversation and express it in a condensed way. It’s fairly shocking how little new info it needs for certain tasks.

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So I thought today’s webinar was pretty good. It’s always interesting to see other folks’ projects.

Josh,
I deeply respect the team, company and product you’ve built. From a technical standpoint, your team has deployed what is in my opinion a flexible business building tool without equal. When it comes to how you listen, treat and respond to your customers, I find your team to be among the best not just in the industry but overall.

I’m not embellishing - when the community spoke out against price hikes over the last few years, you guys could’ve just said “tough luck, that’s the price if you don’t like it you can leave.” But you didn’t do that, instead:

  • the first time around, you allowed folks to retain cheaper grandfathered pricing and,
  • this second time, you’ve notified the community well in advance and are taking months to gather feedback from us (I’ve personally been reached out to twice at this point).

So I genuinely trust that you guys will do your best to do the right thing when it comes to creating and rolling out a BubbleGPT of any form.

That said, I disagree with the conclusion that Bubble developer jobs in an AI dominated future will be just as plentiful and as well paying as they are now. The two intuitions supporting that idea are flawed or just obviously wrong - those being:

  1. AIs are useless without expert “drivers”, therefor existing experts will still be employed to drive those AIs.
  2. The explosion of No-code tech has not suppressed traditional programmer job demand so, similarly, AI won’t displace Bubble developers.

AIs do not need expert “drivers”

To the first point: the truth is experts need not apply. We’re not needed anymore. It’s that simple. Exhibit A: In his video ChatGPT changed how I work in After Effects FOREVER Jake in Motion explains:

I just used a brand new tool to get chat GPT to write me three actually useful After Effects scripts… Prior to this video I had absolutely zero experience with scripting in After Effects so this is absolutely something that you can do even if you’ve never touched scripting yourself

A minute later he cuts to a clip of another YouTuber saying:

Is this what a developer feels like?

There’s a million examples of this sort of “I don’t need an expert anymore” videos circulating so trying to sell anyone on the idea that expert “AI drivers” will still be needed is outrageous if not simply uninformed. And how about Exhibit B, back in 2019 I hired @vini_brito to build a plugin for me. Now, before I hired him, several developers quoted me a price to build it including @ZeroqodeTeam. Well guess what - I don’t need em anymore. I’m sorry Vinni, I know you know I love you but @keith just demonstrated how Bubble plugin developers just became too expensive for anyone to call. Bye-bye job.

This is fun right?

Oh but I release plugins for free because the marketing and good-will blossoms into real gigs that pay. Exhibit C @keith the last time you made a thing for me (which thank you again by the way) I ended up donating like $20 or $30 bucks to you. Real talk, the amount I donate towards “karmaware” drops fast when it’s understood the help came from a free to use AI rather than the effort of an intellectual.

No-code is still not taken seriously. AI is.

Citing the muted effect no-code has had on software developer demand as the harbinger of how AI will impact the bubble developer job market is awkward at best. The reason that demand for traditional software developers did not diminish since you started Bubble in 2012 is because most businesses still view no-code as a toy. I’ve built entire projects, written blog posts, and have made MVPs to convince some of my traditional programmer friends just to try Bubble. They wont do it. They refuse to use Bubble because “It’s a toy and only serious businesses are built with code”.

And I’m not just talking about legacy projects. I’ve been scoffed at in job interviews for suggesting the use of no-code in new projects.

I mean c’mon, you guys even put out this pdf to help entrepreneurs convince their investors it’s okay to build on Bubble.

No-code’s failure to steal traditional programmer jobs en masse is in no way representative of how AI is already threatening employment for folks everywhere. By now I’ve made my point - I don’t want my applications to be used in a way that diminish my income. Even if the effect of my unwilling and uncompensated contribution is 1/1 millionth of the final model, I don’t want it in there. New tech is always around the corner - I get it - but even the Luddites weren’t raging against a machine trained on their creativity. This is different and frankly it would cross the line for me.

I’m going back to working on my plugin now… it’s something I’ve been working on for months. Cheers to hoping GPT doesn’t cheapen it :beers:

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You’re welcome, @zelus_pudding. And thanks for your previous tips!

Look on the bright side: at least GPT-4 can help you with your plugin code!

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Well well, would you look at this. A petition for a moratorium to pause training of AI models more powerful than GPT-4 signed by, among others, the guy who founded OpenAI. Makes sense.

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The thing I’m left wondering (and I’ve seen multiple examples of this) is “where does Bubble find these people who are (1) not ding-dongs and (2) might need help but don’t show up in the forum?”

Forget AI… It seems there’s a whole market that’s inaccessible-ish to plugin devs. I guess the Silicon Alley hustlers are opaque? Like, where do they congregate? Are they just cheap? (No offense intended.)

These could be businesses/apps that have been submitted to the showcase. Also, bubble has all sorts of analytics on who’s doing what in their apps. Also also, Eric Ries - the guy who literally wrote the book on “lean startups” is an investor in Bubble, so a network of y-combinator type companies is aware of and occasionally trying Bubble.

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@zelus_pudding : I’m not one for manifestos, nor for boycotts… but I basically share this safety concern. Earlier GPT’s were just porn-factories. (And why limit our access to that, you Mormon scuds!? [I’m talking to OpenAI here.))

But I have concerns around models beyond GPT-4 that might have massive ramifications. I mean, I tried to jailbreak GPT-4, and it seems completely compliant… but also rather spooky (“WHY IS YOUR NAME SALT AGAIN!?”). But I’m not so sure about the next generation of these children of person-kind.

I’m not concerned about the economic impacts of this (mostleee, because I’m already somewhat benefiting from the force-mulitplier benefits of them), and I don’t really see emergent behaviors of concern from them… but I see tiny traces there? … but I had ZERO concerns about that in previous versions, but have SIGNIFICANT concerns about that in GPT-4 (as do GPT-4’s creators or else they wouldn’t have tested that).

It’s all just a language game until someone gets hurt, right?

Blah, blah, blah.

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Yeah, @zelus_pudding, what a bunch of dicks, amirite? (I’m serious RN.)

Oddly, I find myself in support of that petition. Signed.

(Let the record show that this is but a small intersection between my own concerns and those of Elon Musk.)

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The petition is against unchecked use and human advancement of AI. It’s a response to big tech pushing AI without thinking of the long term ramifications of AI growing out of control and, I can’t believe I’m saying this; become a version of Skynet.

The research team that tested for GPT4 for Advanced General Intelligence actually concluded that GPT4 should not be released to the general public but pressure from Microsoft forced OpenAI to do otherwise.

Anyway I’m getting ahead of myself. What I’m trying to say is I totally support the petition because recent history has shown how lacking governments are in actually governing advancements in tech. Case in point: Rampant fraud in the Crypto space.

This is where i diverge from you though. As someone who hustled his way through adulthood (I left formal education in my teens to support my family) i learned new skills from experience and reading, continuously trying new things. It took a long time for me to be (career wise) where my peers who were able to continue their education reached a decade earlier.

Hence i am a strong supporter and advocate of self-learning and any advancements in how information can be shared. AI can be dangerous but human mindsets are worse. That said you are bordering on fear mongering with your hyperbole.

I am emphatic to your anecdotes but you underestimate the impact of No Code. To share my own anecdote, I can tell you that I am taking my competitors by surprise at the value quality i am offering clients in my sector.

I like to believe that a majority of the people here are smart enough to adapt to the new landscape that AI will scorch in the next few months whether we like it or not.

Wouldn’t it be better to steer the conversation to support the Bubble team to build appropriate guard rails while AI enhancing Bubble.

They obviously have strong connections in the tech space and with strong support from the community Bubble can lead the way to AI “governance and control” in the world of No/Low Code.

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There are a lot of good and very reasonable debates with AI, ethics and future concerns. However my view with Bubble, and inevitably other software tools leveraging AI (even Bubble competition…), is if I can build and improve my app quicker then I am 100% all for it.

For freelancers and agencies, if you can build more apps quicker, then you should also be able to make more. From what I have seen is the demand for quality app development is always high, regardless of whether it is built on Bubble in 10hours or on RoR in 50hours. Feels like complaining that the horse plough is going to get replaced by a tractor with an engine - get more output and charge on results and value, not hours.

Plus having gone through a Bubble freelancer phase, I can confidently say that a lot of individuals struggle to properly explain the app that they want built so I can’t imagine them working with a ‘yes sir’ type of AI and it producing quality work.

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Haven’t looked into this much but if I were in this space and had the industry leading tech I would love to force all my competition to pause their work for an extended amount of time too

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Love it! How do we do that? Seriously asking.

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Honestly i wouldn’t know where to start. AI is advancing so fast because big tech is aggressive in pushing out AI services. Maybe a less zealous (stages) approach is a win win to supporters and otherwise?

What i do know is that from what @josh wrote earlier, i think Bubble is heading in the right direction if they are doing as they claim. Listening to users and seeking feedback.

Perhaps a good start for Bubble is to first push out AI to bolster app building and optimization instead of a something like a prompt to app template generator. The forum is filled with questions about optimization. An AI that can suggest optimized workflows which we can then pick and choose from before generating the workflow might work.

An AI trained in both the Bubble manual and posts from the forums will be great too. Makes searching for information way easier.

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