Generative AI Revolutionizes Publishing: Threat or Boon to the Media Industry?
August 15, 2023
The impending shift in the publishing industry brought about by generative AI is causing a stir among corporations. The potential impact on operational procedures, effects on the workforce, and implications for benefits and harm from this emerging technology are concerns buzzing in almost all media sectors. This includes everything from online content and print to movies and music.
Collective Resistance in Media
The immediate response of many companies was to unite in an effort to thwart threats to their profit margins. “Hollywood personnel, including actors and writers, have gone on strike, fearing the loss or splitting of revenue with AI.” This industrial action has already lasted over 100 days. Major publishers like The New York Times, News Corp (Wall Street Journal), and Dotdash Meredith (IAC) have begun discussions to form a united front against tech giants such as Google and Microsoft. The aim was to investigate legal action against these firms for “content scraping” and training their AI on data generated by the media organizations. However, the recent withdrawal of The New York Times from the group hints at potential separate agreements with these powerful tech companies who control distribution and visibility.
AI Adoption in Non-Profit Organizations
While profit-driven entities grapple with their revenue streams, non-profit organizations have found it easier to make decisions. In a pioneering move in July, the Associated Press struck a two-year deal with OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT. This marks the first official news-sharing agreement with an AI company. Following this trend could prove advantageous for others looking to increase their offerings and revenue. News Corp Australia, for example, now utilizes a team of four employees to generate 3,000 articles a week using generative AI. Their subjects range from local weather to fuel prices and traffic updates, driving an increase in subscriptions and marking the subsidiary’s most successful year in a decade.
The Consumer Perspective
On the other end of the spectrum, consumers are also in a state of debate over what artificial intelligence means for their media consumption. There’s a question of whether readers should be informed if an article was penned by a robot, or if this is simply another evolutionary step in the creative process, similar to the changes introduced by algorithm-generated music and CGI in their respective industries. The situation becomes more complex if generative AI is only used to aid in research or writing. Questions of trust and authenticity arise, with the relationship between brands and their audiences possibly strengthened or blurred, depending on the future of AI.