Google offers cash to publishers for testing its new AI tool

Google is paying a select group of independent publishers to test its unreleased generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool, which can create aggregated content from various sources. The program, which was first reported by Adweek, is part of Google’s efforts to provide small publishers with AI tools to help them with their work.

How does the program work?

The program involves a handful of publishers who have access to Google’s AI tool in exchange for providing analytics and feedback. The publishers are expected to use the tool to produce a fixed volume of content for 12 months, and will receive a monthly stipend of a five-figure sum annually.

The AI tool works by scanning a list of external websites that produce content relevant to the publishers’ audience. The tool then summarizes an article from one of the websites and generates a new article for the publishers’ site. The publishers have to review the article for accuracy before publishing it on their site.

AI tool
AI tool

The publishers are not required to disclose that the content was generated by AI, nor do they need to obtain consent from the original sources. The publishers also have full editorial control over what is published on their site.

What is the purpose of the program?

Google said that the program is an experiment to provide small publishers with AI tools that can help them with their work. The company said that the AI tools are not intended to replace the role of journalists, but to enhance it.

“These tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating and fact-checking their articles,” a Google representative told Adweek.

The company said that the AI tool is designed to produce high-quality journalism using factual content from public data sources, such as a local government information office or a health authority. The company also said that the tool can offer more personalized and value-driven options to the publishers’ customers.

What are the implications of the program?

The program has raised some questions and concerns about the impact of AI on the media industry and the quality of journalism. Some of the issues are:

  • Ethics and transparency: The program raises ethical and transparency issues, such as the lack of consent from the original sources, the lack of disclosure that the content was generated by AI, and the potential for plagiarism and misinformation. Some critics argue that the program violates the journalistic principles of accuracy, attribution, and accountability.
  • Competition and innovation: The program also raises competition and innovation issues, such as the possible advantage that Google has over other media outlets and platforms, the possible disruption of the media landscape and business models, and the possible influence of Google’s agenda and interests on the content and information that is produced and distributed.
  • Regulation and oversight: The program also raises regulation and oversight issues, such as the need for clear and consistent rules and standards for the use of AI in the media industry, the need for monitoring and evaluation of the quality and impact of the AI-generated content, and the need for protection and support for the journalists and publishers who may be affected by the program.

Google’s program is a bold and innovative move that could have significant implications for the media industry and the society. Whether it will be a positive or negative force for journalism and democracy remains to be seen.

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