AI AGE – IS LICENSED CONTENT THE ROAD AHEAD?
Industry after industry have got uprooted by technology through the history of technological onslaught on mankind by mankind. With the coming of the digital age, and computers taking over the world, holding hostage of everything, disruption became the order of the day. It has reached to an extend that one is forced to be ready for it, which is mostly not your making and many a times it is blatantly illegal. The fate of music industry we have all seen with the onset of the digital age. There are others too impacted in a similar manner. With AI the nature of disruption would be manifold to whatever we have experienced anytime in human history.
While the individuals, enterprises, industries and even governments have been disrupted making for a better and easier ways of transacting our business in the respective fields. The benefits overrun the pain and for sure there is no way out of it. Technology is nearly accepted today, would rule us for a long time. In the process what is impacted at the existential level are the ones / areas that are based on intellectual property, copyright, patents etc and where there are no clear legal safeguards in place. The safeguards will come only when they have faced and paid heavily in the first round of disruption.
If such creative material is available in the public domain, it seems it would be subsumed by the AI machine, no holds barrred. That is the nature of animal it is. Open AI guzzled lots and lots of such material in its march to creating LLMs, with which we are all familiar today. The New York Times Co. sued OpenAI and Microsoft Corp. for using the publication’s articles without permission. Earlier many writers have been up in arms for the same nature of treatment provided to their writings. While they created content; wrote books, articles, documented research etc, with a lifetime’s effort, these AI companies got onto the path to making billions of dollars at their cost.
This is when all legal safeguards stand in their favour. This copyright / intellectual property / AI imbroglio is hotting up and at the receiving end is none other than OpenAI. Rightly so, under pressure, OpenAI is talking to a dozen of publishers about striking deals to licence their articles. AI models cannot be trained without it. OpenAI’s Chief of Intellectual Property and Content said that they are positive and the talks are progressing well. “OpenAI inked a multiyear licencing deal with Politico’s parent company Axel Springer.” In July 2023 OpenAI announced an agreement with Associated Press. None of these deal amounts were disclosed. This is a welcome trend. One thing is for sure is that AI companies need to be regulated before business sanity is lost.
UNREGULATED AI DOES NOT FOREBODE WELL FOR ALL OF US.