A coalition comprising major global news media organizations has issued a plea for revised regulations surrounding the usage of copyrighted material by creators of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, as revealed in an open letter released on Wednesday.
The letter, endorsed by industry bodies such as the News Media Alliance (representing nearly 2,000 publications in the United States) and the European Publishers’ Council, advocates for the implementation of a framework that enables media companies to engage in “collective negotiations” with AI model operators regarding the operators’ utilization of intellectual property owned by the media companies.
The letter asserts that “Generative AI and large language models… distribute content and information to their users, oftentimes without providing compensation or granting recognition to the original creators. Such practices undermine the fundamental business models of the media industry.”
AI-powered services like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, which employ language generation algorithms, have led to a surge in bot-generated online content, prompting various industries to evaluate the impact on their respective businesses.
Most of these services do not disclose the specific data used to train their models, although earlier versions of their models were reported to have been trained on datasets comprising billions of information pieces scraped from the internet, including content sourced from news websites.
Despite the widespread adoption of AI technology, governments globally are still in the process of deliberating rules to govern its usage.
This latest move by the news media industry resonates with its longstanding endeavor to secure favorable agreements with tech giants like Meta Platforms and Alphabet, which publishers often accuse of benefiting from platforms that feature news content without adequately sharing profits. US lawmakers are presently considering the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, a bill that would enable news broadcasters and publishers with fewer than 1,500 full-time employees to jointly negotiate advertisement rates with the likes of Google and Facebook.
Meanwhile, news organizations are beginning to explore the possibilities of utilizing generative AI and entering into agreements with tech companies to employ their content for training AI models.
Associated Press, a news agency and one of the signatories of the open letter, recently struck a deal with OpenAI to license a portion of AP’s archive of news stories and explore the use of generative AI in news reporting. Furthermore, OpenAI has pledged $5 million (approximately Rs. 41 crores) to the American Journalism Project (AJP) as part of a partnership aimed at finding ways to support local news through AI.
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Deepak Sen is a tech enthusiast who covers the latest technological innovations, from AI to consumer gadgets. His articles provide readers with a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of technology.