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Erasing Authors, Google and Bing’s AI Bots Endanger Open Web

Accepted submission by fliptop at 2023-02-08 23:04:48

The new AIs draw from human-generated content, while pushing it away []:

With the massive growth of ChatGPT [] making headlines every day, Google and Microsoft have responded by showing off AI chatbots built into their search engines. It’s self-evident that AI is the future. But the future of what?

[...] Built on information from human authors, both companies’ [(Microsoft's "New Bing" and Google's Bard)] AI engines are being positioned as alternatives to the articles they learned from. The end result could be a more closed web with less free information and fewer experts to offer you good advice.

[...] A lot of critics will justifiably be concerned about possible factual inaccuracies in chatbot results, but we can likely assume that, as the technology improves, it will get better at weeding out mistakes. The larger issue is that the bots are giving you advice that seems to come from nowhere – though it was obviously compiled by grabbing content from human writers whom Bard is not even crediting.

[...] I’ll admit another bias. I’m a professional writer, and chatbots like those shown by Google and Bing are an existential threat to anyone who gets paid for their words. Most websites rely heavily on search as a source of traffic and, without those eyeballs, the business model of many publishers is broken. No traffic means no ads, no ecommerce clicks, no revenue and no jobs.

Eventually, some publishers could be forced out of business. Others could retreat behind paywalls and still others could block Google and Bing from indexing their content. AI bots would run out of quality sources to scrape, making their advice less reliable. And readers would either have to pay more for quality content or settle for fewer voices.

Related: 90% of Online Content Could be ‘Generated by AI by 2025,’ Expert Says []

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