On Wednesday, Gannett, which owns USA TODAY, The Associated Press, and eight other news organizations asked policymakers to control AI models. They said that if nothing is done, it could hurt the industry and make people even less trusting of the news.

In an open letter, the organizations express concern that intellectual property rights could be lost because of generative AI models. They point out that the technology is often trained with material that is owned by the organizations.

AI can provide “significant benefits to humanity,” but there should be a legal framework that encourages “responsible AI practices that protect the content powering AI applications while preserving public trust in media,” according to the letter.

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A guest saw an ad for the World Artificial Intelligence Conference, which will be held in Shanghai on July 5, 2023. The ad was about AI.

What’s written in the letter?
The letter says that AI models are often trained with content from publishers and can share that content without crediting, paying, or getting permission from the original creators. It also says that these practices break copyright law (which has been debated by legal experts), hurt the media industry’s main business models, and make it harder for the public to find reliable information.

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The groups say they want to see more openness in how generative AI models are taught. For example, they want AI models to get permission from the original creators before using their intellectual property for training. They say that media companies should be able to talk to AI companies as a group about how AI companies can access and use their material.

The groups also say that AI models and their users should be required to say “clearly, specifically, and consistently” that their work was made by AI. They also say that AI companies should be required to make sure their models don’t spread false information or bias.

Which jobs will be most affected by AI?Pew study shows that some jobs are more likely to be replaced.

Which groups put their names on the letter?
Some of the people who signed the letter are:

Press Agency of France
Gannett | USA TODAY Network | European Pressphoto Agency | European Publishers’ Council |
Getty Photos
National Writers Union National Press Photographers Association News Media Alliance
The AP is a news agency.
The Writers’ Union

AI has been used in different ways by the different groups.

In February, Getty Images sued Stability AI, saying that the AI company used more than 12 million of its photos without permission or payment to train its technology.

The Associated Press and the company that owns ChatGPT, OpenAI, just signed a two-year deal that lets OpenAI use some of the AP’s old news stories to train its algorithms.

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Reuters reported in June that Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the country, plans to add generative AI to the system it uses to publish stories. In the fourth quarter, Gannett will launch a test program that puts bulleted summaries at the top of USA TODAY articles.

AI is used in the media business
The letter comes at a time when media companies are starting to figure out what role AI will play in the business.

Some websites, like CNET and Gizmodo, have already started using AI to write material. The New York Times reported last month that Google was pitching AI technology that can write news stories as a “personal assistant for journalists” to news organizations like the Times, The Washington Post, and News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal.

But there are still worries about material written by AI, because it tends to write wrong or biased information. The Federal Trade Commission started looking into OpenAI last month. Part of what they are looking into is whether the tool did any harm by putting out wrong information.

And publishers have said they are worried that as AI gets better, robots that give people answers directly instead of sending them to a list of links could hurt traffic even more.

Other fields have also been worried about how AI will affect them.The unions for American actors and screenwriters, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America, are on strike in part because they are afraid that AI tools could take their jobs by writing scripts and making characters.

On August 7, 2023, protests are held outside Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, by Hollywood writers, stars, and their fans. US film and TV production has stopped because of a strike by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) and a strike by film and TV writers that started in May over pay and the threat of AI.

“Generative AI is an exciting new development that could bring big benefits to society if it is built and used in a responsible way,” says the letter from the media groups. “We look forward to being a part of the solution to make sure that AI applications continue to grow while respecting the rights of media companies and individual journalists who work to protect the truth and keep our communities informed and involved.”


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