Top news publishers are reportedly planning to sue AI firms

Innovation

Several major US and international publishers are joining forces as part of an effort to sue major artificial intelligence companies for using their content to train their generative AI models and seek new rules that govern such actions, Semafor reported Sunday.
OpenAI and Google have been accused of using publishers’ content to train their AI models without permission. NURPHOTO VIA Getty Images
Key facts
  • According to Semafor, The New York Times, News Corp, Axel Springer, Dotdash Meredith owner IAC and others are in the process of forming a coalition to take on AI giants like Google and OpenAI.
  • The report cites IAC CEO Joey Levin, who warns that AI taking over the news media might be “more profound” than the fear of AI eliminating humans and taking control of the world.
  • Publishers’ primary concern is reportedly how AI will impact traffic to their websites from Google searches as the AI chatbots may simply scrape that data from their pages and serve it to the user without attribution or links.
  • The report of the publishers’ efforts to band together comes a week after IAC Chairman Barry Diller warned of AI’s “catastrophic” impact on publishing.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press appeared to buck concerns about AI’s impact on the news media by inking a deal with ChatGPT’s creator OpenAI to license an archive of news stories.

As part of the deal, the news agency’s “text archive” will be made accessible to OpenAI while AP will tap into the tech company’s “technology and product expertise.” Financial terms of the deal have not been made public.

Key background

Google, OpenAI, Meta and other AI companies like Midjourney have been the target of multiple lawsuits over the past few months, as content creators, artists and publishers accused the companies of training their models using their content without their consent or remuneration.

One of the most high-profile of these cases was filed earlier this month, as comedian Sarah Silverman joined two others to sue OpenAI and Meta for copyright infringement.

Silverman and the other plaintiffs have accused OpenAI and Meta of training their AI models using their content without their permission.

Google was hit with a similar class-action suit that accuses the company of “secretly stealing everything ever created and shared on the internet” and using it to train its AI chatbots.

Tangent

The brewing legal fight between publishers and tech giants comes amid an effort by the Biden administration to establish guardrails to regulate AI.

Last week, the White House announced it had received “voluntary” commitments from seven companies—Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Anthropic and Inflection AI—“to help move toward safe, secure, and transparent development of AI technology.”

The commitments made by these companies were focused on “safety, security, and trust”—tackling concerns like bias, misinformation and privacy. The commitments, however, lacked any details about compensating the sources of data being used to train these AI systems.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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