Media Publishers vs AI

As AI advances at lightning speed, publishers are gearing up for a clash with tech giants like Google and Microsoft over their chatbots. The battle is centered around the contradiction of the “fair use” law. The days when Facebook was the media’s biggest threat are long gone. Publishers used to demand compensation for lost ad revenue and traffic, but now it’s all about the AI bots. These large language models are trained on a massive amount of text data, including copyrighted articles from the web.

On one hand, “fair use” allows for certain portions of copyrighted material to be used without permission in certain cases such as news reporting or scholarly reports. However, when it comes to AI-generated responses and the future of advertising money, things are heating up faster than popcorn in a microwave! 💥 ChatGPT has been known to plagiarize and tweak human writing, which raises questions about the application of “fair use” in this context.

Meanwhile, Google is playing it safe with its AI-based chatbot, Bard. They’re warning that “things will go wrong,” and they haven’t integrated Bard into their search engine just yet. On the other hand, Microsoft has launched a new ChatGPT-fueled Bing and 365 apps.

While OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has leaned on “fair use” as a defense, it has also said that it paid for rights to certain content. The new GPT-4 can now browse the web to pull info from after 2021 (in some cases), and that could be a real threat for news outlets. Publishers are starting to examine how much of their content has been used to “train” bots, and they are said to be exploring legal options, led by the publishing trade group News Media Alliance, to ensure that their content is properly compensated for its use in AI-generated responses. News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson said, “Clearly, they are using proprietary content — there should be, obviously, some compensation for that.”

Rapid-fire AI releases show that tech titans are taking an “ask for forgiveness, not permission” approach. Meanwhile, industries haven’t had time to digest issues that could arise, from bias to misinformation to copyright infringement. It seems that the battle between publishers and tech giants is not just about the technology itself, but also about the laws and regulations surrounding it. As AI continues to evolve and become more integrated into our lives, it will be interesting to see how “fair use” and other laws are applied and adapted to this new technology 🤔

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