The Risk of AI to Creators
AI is transforming many industries, including content creation and publishing. In this blog post, we'll examine how AI is affecting creators and publishers. From automating tasks to generating content, AI is changing the way work is done in this field. Understanding the role of AI in the industry can help creators and publishers prepare for the future.
This intro you just read, was created by ChatGPT. In fact, after it suggested an intro to the topic, I asked it to make it shorter and it did...
We cannot deny that there are rising fears of the impact the emergence of AI technologies like ChatGPT will have on industries like publishing, and whether ChatGPT will replace the need for content writers for example or how the future will look like for industries like digital marketing which built a big portion of the content on the internet today...
Why People Write Content
People write content to earn some value in return one way or another. There's an expectation that, when users consume content, the publisher will be able to gain some value in return. This value can be many things, like showing ads to users, or suggesting affiliate links to earn a commission or driving customers to a website at various stages of their buying cycle to make a purchase, etc.
There are of course other non-profit reasons people write content, like the content on Wikipedia or governmental websites. This type of content is not part of our discussion in this post.
How AI Uses Content
AI bots like ChatGPT, need content to use as training data sets to be able to answer elaborate questions. I asked ChatGPT what sources where used to train it, here's what it said:
So basically it used existing content, written by professionals, journalists, or even possibly amateur bloggers to train and learn.
How is AI a Threat to Content Writers and the Digital Marketing Industry
For a while, the digital marketing industry thought/discussed whether AI content writing tools are a threat to content writers. But experience has shown that, AI content is not as good as human generated content for many reasons. And on top of that, Google did issue a clarification, that AI written content "with no editing or manual curation or original content" is considered spammy content and therefore will be treated accordingly while evaluating serps rankings.
And as far as we're concerned, Google owns the rules when it comes to online long form content (non-social media content).
But now, ChatGPT changed the game. Many voices including myself are thinking, what if people use AI bots, like ChatGPT to answer users questions, and therefore fewer and fewer people would need to visit websites and consume content there and go through the process of consuming content in exchange for the value the content was created to capture...
In our current model, websites represent businesses that are benefiting from this relation with the users as follows:
In the AI model, businesses/websites are offering their content for free for AI, and are not getting any value in return:
While we are not there yet as the model above, this is a concerning direction. There will be no motivation for creators to generate new content. Everyone loses, websites/businesses, content writers, even AI bots and eventually the users.
In addition, since AI would be a single source of information, even if it tried to offer different perspectives and opinions on a topic, as long as it's controlled by one entity, it's considered a single source. Compare that to getting results or answers from a variety of independent sources in Google search. If AI makes search irrelevant, everyone loses.
Can we have laws to protect content against being used as AI training data sets without the explicit approval of its publishers/creators? I mean we have laws for intellectual property and copyrights, and maybe it's time we update those laws, or create new ones that requires AI companies to purchase usage license from publishers.
I mean, isn’t that a fair ask?!
Someone can simply create an AI software and use books, websites etc. to train the AI software.... then not only goes to make millions but put millions of jobs and businesses at risk, ironically the jobs of people that created that very same content and made it accessible to the AI in the first place.... isn't that chatgpt?
I believe that the use of content by AI tools is a different kind of usage than the traditional usage and requires a new legislation of its own.
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