Several major publishers, including The New York Times, News Corp, Axel Springer, Dotdash Meredith owner IAC, are teaming up to address the growing challenge posed by AI giants like Google and OpenAI, according to a report by Semafor. The issue at hand revolves around uncontrolled content scraping by AI companies, which they use to train their large language models. This has become a recurring problem for publishers and content creators, leading to numerous legal disputes.
Currently, both Google and OpenAI are facing class-action lawsuits, but the situation is escalating as IAC, backed by industry heavyweights The New York Times, News Corp and Axel Springer, is initiating legal action and forming a coalition. The primary objective of this coalition is to advocate for new regulations governing the training of AI models on media content. They are concerned about the potential consequences of an AI takeover in the media industry, a scenario deemed more profound than the general fear of AI taking over the world.
It is worth noting that some publishers have already begun exploring AI tools to improve writing efficiency, and some anticipate AI to replace certain human jobs. For example, Germany's Bild tabloid has warned its staff about forthcoming editorial cuts due to the implementation of artificial intelligence.
One of the key worries for publishers is the possibility of Google shifting from sending traffic to websites to merely answering user queries with chatbots. This could lead to a significant reduction in web traffic for publishers and could negatively impact their revenue streams.
Tech executives and AI developers acknowledge that they have not yet established a viable business model for AI, but Google has already introduced a tool to assist journalists in writing articles, potentially automating certain journalistic tasks.
The publishers are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the social media era when they gave away their content for free. To combat this, the Associated Press (AP) has made a move by entering into a licensing agreement with OpenAI to provide access to its news story archive while benefiting from OpenAI's technology and product expertise.