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Big tech and publishers in conflicts about data for GenAI tools

The global focus on generative artificial intelligence has emphasised the need for giant amounts of data to train the software. Publishers’ archives are one attractive source for big tech companies developing software but publishers are stepping up their demand to get paid for this new use of their data. The latest example is the New York Times that is suing OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, and Microsoft that is OpenAI’s biggest investor. Others like Springer and Associated Press have reached  what are probably profitable agreements with Open AI. 

The NYT lawsuit is by many seen as an escalation of argumentation in the ongoing discussions about compensation for this new use of data.

The New York Times says it is the first major U.S. media organisation to sue the companies over copyright issues associated with its written works.

The newspaper itself reports that the lawsuit does not include an exact monetary demand. 

Read Also:  The race to find data for machine learning and generative AI

“The defendants should be held responsible for “billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages” related to the “unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.” The suit also calls for the companies to destroy any training data and chatbot models that use copyrighted material from The Times”, the newspaper says in a news report.

The lawsuit contends that millions of Times articles were used to train automated chatbots, which now compete with the news outlet. The complaint cites several examples in which a chatbot provided users with near-verbatim excerpts from Times articles that would otherwise require a paid subscription to view.”

With the GenAI boom, many publishers have announced that they are now blocking generative AI tool makers from using their content to power artificial intelligence, among them for instance the Guardian.

Others have instead decided to join the GenAI boom like publisher Springer that recently announced an agreement with OpenAI. 

Read Also:  Users of AI services worry about copyright problems

OpenAI’s ChatGPT will produce news summaries based on content from Springer’s media brands including Politico.

The collaboration also involves the use of content from Axel Springer media brands for training of OpenAI’s large language models. 

Axel Springer and OpenAI says their partnership will “strengthen independent journalism in the age of artificial intelligence (AI)”. 

“The initiative will enrich users’ experience with ChatGPT by adding recent and authoritative content on a wide variety of topics, and explicitly values the publisher’s role in contributing to OpenAI’s products. This marks a significant step in both companies’ commitment to leverage AI for enhancing content experiences and creating new financial opportunities that support a sustainable future for journalism.”   

“ChatGPT users around the world will receive summaries of selected global news content from Axel Springer’s media brands including Politico, Business Insider and European Bild and Welt. “ChatGPT’s answers to user queries will include attribution and links to the full articles for transparency and further information”, the companies say in a press release.  

US-based news agency Associated Press (AP) and OpenAI earlier announced an agreement to share access to news content for generative AI in news products and services.

“The arrangement sees OpenAI licensing part of AP’s text archive, while AP will leverage OpenAI’s technology and product expertise. Both organisations will benefit from each other’s established expertise in their respective industries, and believe in the responsible creation and use of these AI systems”, AP said.

Read Also:  Media companies blocking training of artificial intelligence tools


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