Google Silently Enters Controversial Generative AI Publishing Tool Deal With Newsrooms

Android maker Google is taking part in some controversial deals that have been struck with leading publishers as per a recent article rolled out by Adweek.

The company has silently moved to allow the use of generative AI tools for publishing news stories, a matter that many would deem controversial for obvious reasons.

The deals are major and worth a staggering tens of thousands of dollars per year as per the firm’s GNI program. The latter is the name reserved for a program spanning six years that provides funds to a wide number of fact-checkers, literacy projects, and more from newsrooms.

Entering the realm of AI publishing is as controversial as it can get for obvious reasons.

As per reports from Adweek, the program continues to target a long list of publishers working on a smaller scale. Such tools that are still in beta allow these publishers to roll out aggregated material in a more effective manner by indexing the reports produced by other firms such as agencies belonging to the government and rival media outlets. This is then rolled out in the form of a summary and generated in a news article format.

For now, it is not quite clear what publishers are getting paid for such an arrangement but as per Adweek, it’s not small. We’re talking five figures every year in return for three articles rolled out daily. This also entails a weekly newsletter and marketing campaigns generated every month through these tools.
Publishers seen in these programs aren’t required to highlight AI usage nor can the webpages inform more about content used to produce AI-generated stories through such webpages.

The copies make use of color-coded systems to highlight how reliable they all are so that human editors can better review all of the published content.

The search engine giant is yet to roll out responses or requests for comments like these. Statements from Adweek mentioned how it was only during the initial stages of exploration that we saw tools enabled via AI assist journalists in carrying out their projects. Moreover, the spokesperson mentioned how AI tools aren’t intended to replace the job that journalists have in rolling out and ensuring all the articles are fact-checked.

For now, it’s not revealed what search engine giant Google might be attaining through such deals but one thing is for sure. This is not the first time that we’ve heard of a tech giant generating payment for newsrooms to make use of tools that belong to them.

It’s quite like how deals were struck by Meta’s Facebook app with publishers. The former wanted them to produce live content through videos back in 2016. They even made headlines millions were used to pivot all of the video content through such means.

But the deals did not last long and seemed to have vanished after Meta had miscalculated views that every piece of such content was attaining. Therefore, all deals on live videos ended and after that, we saw it better to tweak the algorithm for fewer news recommendations.

The media’s role in this regard of pivoting videos ended up costing hundreds of journalists to carry out their duties. After all, pivoting video content is not easy as mentioned by some sources.

Right now, the program of Google that’s dubbed GNI seems to be working on a smaller scale than what was carried out by Meta’s Facebook in the past, nearly ten years back, we are bound to see concerns raised by critics and experts who would scrutinize the act of using generative AI tech by a long list of publishers.

Photo: DIW-Aigen

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