Insights & Analysis: Publicly Traded Companies in Q2 2023

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Every quarter, business analyst Matthew Scott Goldstein details and shares his insights on what he saw happen with publicly traded companies across advertising, technology, and media.

Top-Level Insights for Publicly Traded Companies Q2 (2023)

Macro Environment: What We Saw in Q2 2023

  • GENAI is changing the digital publisher landscape as we know it.
  • The entire Q2 missive will cover GENAI and how it has and will impact the digital publisher world.
  • GENAI is the best helper around, like having a very smart person, who knows pretty much everything, sitting next to you in the office available 24/7.
  • The use of GENAI in digital publishing is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to revolutionize the industry.
  • It remains to be seen how GENAI will impact the future of publishing, but it is a technology that publishers need to be aware of.
  • Publishers and GENAI companies should work together to develop fair and equitable agreements that compensate publishers for the use of their content. Such agreements could include:
  1. Paying publishers a royalty for each time their content is used 
  2. Giving publishers the right to approve or reject the use of their content 
  3. Sharing the profits from products and services that are created

Action items for publishers as GENAI grows

  1. Publishers should continue to build more front-door traffic, Google traffic will be down 30-50% once GENAI is rolled out, probably sometime in October.  Though this is not easy given publishers relying on Google for a disproportionate amount of traffic over the past decade 
  2. Newsletters will rise in importance as Microsoft and Google make emailing magically easy by helping you write, answer, and sort emails. The inbox will be a more indispensable content destination and repository. Newsletters are trusted. Though newsletters, today, don’t really drive traffic to publishers’ websites based on data from SimilarWeb
  3. Start integrating GENAI now across the entire Publisher business, not just editorial and train your staff on AI, AI will be integrated to most products — Gmail/Outlook, Sheets/Excel, GA,, GAM, Notion, Jira, etc.; though publishers risk inadvertently training the LLMs with their proprietary content 
  4. Integrate GENAI into the CMS or push WordPress/Arc to do this AI integration. LIke WordPress just introduced Jetpack AI Assistant, The tool is described as a creative writing partner.
  5. Editorial should be 30-50% more productive in the next 12-18 months and your overall staff should be 20-30% more productive in the next 12-18 months, though will be a slow start as GEN AI is not fully integrated to most publisher platforms 
  6. Content will not be flat once GEN AI is integrated. Stories will be 500/1000/1500 words with a click of a button, the home page becomes personalized, chatbot integration will happen, additional content categories will be created, polls will be easy, audio and voice will become more important, etc. Publishers can explore AI-powered formats that provide unique experiences to readers, such as interactive quizzes, chatbots, and gamified content. GENAI can assist in creating interactive and immersive storytelling experiences. It can generate dynamic narratives, allowing users to engage with the story, make choices, and experience different outcomes. Ensure that the presentation of AI-generated content is intuitive, user-friendly, and enhances the overall user experience
  7. Hire now for what you will need in 12 months as GEN AI proliferates — prompt engineers, editors not writers, data scientists, UX designers, content strategists, CMS experts if in-house, etc. Roles such as editors, print production journalists, proofreaders, photo editors and assistants may no longer exist like they do today 
  8. Publishers should be paid for LLMs using their data to answer current queries in addition to the training of the LLMs, pubs should work together on this initiative.  OpenAI, Google, Microsoft and Adobe have met news executives in recent months to discuss copyright issues around their AI products. Publishers can explore partnerships or legal avenues to protect their intellectual property rights and ensure they are fairly compensated for the value their content contributes to AI development
  9. Come up with Editorial AI policies and procedures, circulate and update frequently, like what DCN’s Principles for Development and Governance of Generative AI — link and the Guardian — link. Also, develop and adhere to ethical guidelines for the use of AI in publishing 
  10. Publishers should partner with AI companies to get access to the latest AI technologies. This can help publishers accelerate their AI adoption and get a competitive advantage. Partners like as an example 
  11. The CEO should own GENAI. The CEO is ultimately responsible for the success of the publisher, and they will need to be involved in the decision-making process around AI. They will need to understand the potential benefits and risks of AI
  12. GENAI will rain hellfire of fake content on the world, that’ll push readers to seek safer and trusted sources of news; trust becomes a core tenant once AI becomes common on the internet.
  13. Google is likely to continue to dominate the search market, but Microsoft could pose a threat if it can successfully integrates GENAI into its products, so pubs should work more closely with Microsoft and whoever else emerges as a GENAI  search provider 
  14. GENAI may bring on publisher consolidation as smaller publishers have a hard time competing with the larger more established publishers and are forced to consolidate or perish. GENAI has the potential to disrupt traditional publishing models by enabling personalized content creation and distribution
  15. Join industry initiatives and advocacy groups, organizations like the News Media Alliance have developed AI Principles to guide the use of journalistic and creative content by GAI systems. Publishers can participate in such initiatives to help shape policies and ensure their interests are represented. 
  16. Some very lucrative google searches, like best mortgage or best credit card may not have GENAI as these searches provide a disproportionate amount of revenue to the Google search monopoly, so closely monitor Google search to see what is happening.

Publishers and GENAI Q2 2023 summary generated by Chat GPT 

  • Many articles discuss the application of AI, particularly generative AI models like ChatGPT, in various domains, including journalism, content creation, publishing, advertising, and education.
  • There is a focus on how AI, specifically generative AI, is disrupting the news media landscape. It is mentioned that AI-generated articles, chatbots, and news content farms are being developed, raising concerns about the future of journalism, intellectual property rights, and monetization of content.
  • Several articles mentioned how companies, media organizations, and publishers are responding to AI advancements. Some are experimenting with AI tools for writing, reporting, content personalization, and productivity enhancement, while others are forming AI working groups or developing AI principles to guide the responsible use of AI in journalism.
  • The articles highlight concerns such as copyright infringement, the potential loss of revenue for news publishers, the need for fair compensation for content used by AI systems, and the challenge of maintaining privacy and data security when using AI technologies.
  • The impact of AI extends beyond the news media industry, with mentions of AI applications in finance, entertainment, education, advertising, and various online platforms.
  • Different perspectives on AI are presented, ranging from excitement about its potential for innovation and productivity gains to concerns about job displacement and the need for ethical considerations in its deployment.

Overall, the articles highlight the growing presence of AI, its disruptive potential, and the need for thoughtful approaches to address its impact on industries, intellectual property, and society at large.

What we saw of publishers and GENAI in the news in Q2 2023

  • Bloomberg released a research paper detailing the development of BloombergGPT, a new large-scale generative artificial intelligence (AI) model. This large language model (LLM) has been specifically trained on a wide range of financial data to support a diverse set of natural language processing (NLP) tasks within the financial industry.
  • BuzzFeed is quietly publishing whole AI generated articles, not just quizzes — These read like a proof of concept for replacing human writers
  • AI is generating audiobook narrations in the voice of a dead actor and others who never read the text in question. 
  • The Guardian has created an AI working group and small engineering team to focus on “learning about the technology, considering the public policy and IP questions around it, listening to academics and practitioners, talking to other organizations, consulting and training our staff, and exploring safely and responsibly how the technology performs when applied to journalistic use.”
  • Insider editors had a meeting this week to discuss the newsroom’s guidelines around using artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT for writing and reporting. According to two Insider insiders, top editor Nicholas Carlson said he would allow reporters and freelancers to use the tool as a way for writing and reporting, and suggested editors should query AI for story ideas. (Semafor has been using the tool largely for copy editing.)
  • Insider plans to begin experimenting with ways to leverage AI in its journalism, its global editor-in-chief Nicholas Carlson told Axios. Why it matters: “A tsunami is coming,” Carlson said. “We can either ride it or get wiped out by it.” “But it’s going to be really fun to ride it, and it’s going to make us faster and better.” 
  • As artificial intelligence threatens the revenue of news publishers, Barry Diller—the billionaire founder of media conglomerate IAC—wants the industry to fight back.  News publishers should band together to take on large language models like ChatGPT and assert their copyrights in court, Diller said at the Semafor Media Summit (April 10).  While it isn’t clear where exactly these chatbots get the information to answer user questions, the assumption is that at least some of it comes from the articles published by news sites, which threatens their businesses.
  • Generative AI can be very disruptive to the news media landscape, says Penske Media’s Jay Penske. Investigative reporting is here to stay, pure information reporting AI will be a real threat, from some times of collectives   
  • Universal Music Group reportedly asked streaming services including Apple and Spotify to block AI bots from accessing its copyrighted songs to train themselves.  A new song believed to feature AI-generated fake vocals from Drake and The Weeknd that went viral over the weekend has been pulled from most streaming platforms after their label, Universal Music Group, released a statement Monday (April 17) condemning “infringing content created with generative AI.”
  • Newsrooms are moving quickly to hire artificial intelligence reporters and launch new AI-specific products, as consumer curiosity and commercial interest explode
  • Nearly every major national newsroom has begun hiring AI reporters or is experimenting with integrating AI into their newsrooms. The Verge, TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Bloomberg, VentureBeat, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fortune, MIT Technology Review, the Financial Times and others all have dedicated AI reporters. 
  • Reddit has long been a hot spot for conversation on the internet. About 57 million people visit the site every day to chat about topics as varied as makeup, video games and pointers for power washing driveways. In recent years, Reddit’s array of chats also has been a free teaching aid for companies like Google, OpenAI and Microsoft. Those companies are using Reddit’s conversations in the development of giant artificial intelligence systems that many in Silicon Valley think are on their way to becoming the tech industry’s next big thing. Now Reddit wants to be paid for it
  • Wikipedia and an online exchange of pirated ebooks are among the most popular websites that A.I.-powered chatbots use to sound smart — link
  • The News/Media Alliance, an advocacy group that represents over 2,000 print and digital publishing companies, has developed a set of AI Principles to provide guidance for use of journalistic and creative content by generative artificial intelligence (GAI) systems.  The Principles cover issues related to intellectual property rights, transparency, accountability, fairness, safety, and design They apply to all content, including text, images, audiovisual and all other formats.“The Principles emphasize that emerging technologies such as AI must continue to respect publishers’ intellectual property (IP), brands, reader relationships, and investments made in creating quality journalistic and creative content,” says Danielle Coffey. executive vice president and general counsel of the News Media Alliance.  Coffey adds, “Publishers must be fairly compensated for the tremendous value their content contributes to the development of generative AI technology. It’s a simple exchange of value.” 
  • Chegg announced CheggMate, a new AI enhanced learning service built with OpenAI’s most advanced model, GPT-4. CheggMate will leverage Chegg’s leading personalized learning platform, proprietary data set, and the advanced problem-solving capabilities of GPT-4, to create an AI conversational learning companion that will empower students to learn in real-time more effectively, and with greater accuracy than ever before. 
  • IAC Talks with Publishers About Menace of IA, Barry Diller says he has talked with major publishers, including News Corp and Axel Springer, about banding together on AI. The billionaire chairman of digital media conglomerate IAC  —and Hollywood mogul in a former life—is railing to me about the threat posed by generative artificial intelligence, or AI, platforms like ChatGPT. His specific beef? That algorithms and bots are scraping, repurposing, and potentially monetizing content from publishers including not only the likes of People, Investopedia, and Better Homes & Gardens—all of which Diller owns—but the industry writ large.
  • Grimes is encouraging people to sample her voice in AI-generated songs, saying she’ll split the royalties on any successful result. 
  • An editor at a German magazine was fired over an “interview” with retired Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher that used responses written by AI
  • Jonah Peretti predicts the future of digital media, including a return to news homepages, a focus on entertainment, partnerships between creators and media companies, the importance of AI, and the rise of cultural moments in advertising 
  • AI Chatbots Have Been Used to Create Dozens of News Content Farms. A new report documents 49 new websites populated by AI tools like ChatGPT and posing as news outlets. The 49 websites, which were independently reviewed by Bloomberg, run the gamut. Some are dressed up as breaking news sites with generic-sounding names like News Live 79 and Daily Business Post, while others share lifestyle tips, celebrity news or publish sponsored content. But none disclose they’re populated using AI chatbots such as OpenAI Inc.’s ChatGPT and potentially Alphabet Inc.’s Google Bard, which can generate detailed text based on simple user prompts. Many of the websites began publishing this year as the AI tools began to be widely used by 
  • Chegg Inc. stock plummeted after warning that the ChatGPT tool is threatening growth of its homework-help services, one of the most notable market reactions yet to signs that generative AI is upending industries. The company, which offers online guidance for students taking tests and writing essays, also gave revenue and profit forecasts for the current quarter that fell well short of analysts’ estimates. Chegg makes much of its money from subscriptions, which start at $15.95 a month, a revenue source that’s in peril if students see AI chatbots as an alternative to paying.
  • While the new artificial intelligence–powered chatbot has proved popular with some businesses looking to automate business tasks, other companies, such as banks, have avoided adopting ChatGPT for fear that their employees would inadvertently give the chatbot proprietary information when they use it. Microsoft, which has the rights to resell the startup’s technology, has a plan to win over the holdouts.
  • Later this quarter Microsoft’s Azure cloud server unit plans to sell a version of ChatGPT that runs on dedicated cloud servers where the data will be kept separate from those of other customers, according to two people with knowledge of the upcoming announcement. The idea is to give customers peace of mind that their secrets won’t leak to the main ChatGPT system, the people said. But it will come at a price: The product could cost as much as 10 times what customers currently pay to use the regular version of ChatGPT, one of these people said.
  • A challenging advertising climate chilled the results for iHeartMedia’s first quarter of 2023. Company executives say continued “advertising softness” led to a downsizing of the company’s revenue by 3.8% compared to the same period a year prior. But a story with more long-term implications is the company’s eager embrace of artificial intelligence. “We plan to use it to its fullest,” said Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman, without offering specifics. He said AI could “ fundamentally change the cost structure of the company.”
  • Broadly speaking, I believe that generative AI will begin to replace the majority of static content. Audiences will begin to expect all content to be personalized, interactive and dynamic with embedded intelligence formats that were developed before the AI revolution. And many other formats and conventions of the media industry will need to be updated and adapted or begin to feel stale and outdated,” he continued on the earnings call.
  • In January, Peretti said that BuzzFeed would begin to embrace more “AI inspired content,” to become a “part of our core business” starting in March. That has included new AI-formats, such as Infinity Quizzes and Chatbot Games. Time spent on AI-based quizzes has increased by more than 40 percent compared to legacy quizzes, Peretti said Tuesday. The company is “rapidly prototyping” new generative AI quizzes and chatbots that “will scale in the coming months.”
  • ChatGPT and other generative AI tools should not send publishers into “panic mode”, digital bosses at Conde Nast and William Reed have said. Instead, they suggested AI can most usefully be implemented as productivity tools – for example, to improve headlines, for search engine optimisation, to generate ideas around an SEO theme and to better understand the likely intent of users.
  • During a call with investors to discuss the company’s results, Mr. Thomson expressed his concern about the impact of generative artificial intelligence on News Corp’s intellectual property and the future of journalism. He called for compensation for the use of IP for training AI engines, the content that is surfaced in user queries and answers that are monetized by other parties when articles are aggregated and synthesized.   “We expect our fair share of that monetization,” he said. “Generative AI cannot be degenerative AI.”
  • BuzzFeed Inc., the online media company reinventing itself after shutting down its news operation last month, said its making progress in its use of artificial intelligence. Readers spent 40% more time with its quizzes using AI than traditional ones, the company said in an online investor forum Thursday. Under the Influencer, a game built around a chatbot, garners four times as much use as static quizzes.
  • Buzzfeed, fresh from announcing that its news division is closing, is prepared to lean into AI, judging by comments made last week by CEO Jonah Peretti. Speaking at an investor’s conference, Peretti predicted that generative AI will “replace the majority of static content,” over the next few years,” and that Buzzfeed views it as a new creativity tool “that will allow us to innovate and collaborate with our clients and partners on a new frontier in media,” according to Futurism. In addition, “AI will lead to new formats that are “more gamified, more personalized, and more interactive,” Peretti said. This comes just months after Pereti criticized publishers that use AI technology “for cost savings and spamming out a bunch of SEO articles that are lower quality than what a journalist could do.”
  • Just weeks after benchmarking the number of AI-generated news and information sites at 49, NewsGuard has updated the figure to 125 — a 155% increase, according to a new report published by the news and information ratings service. “The number of AI-generated content farms continues to proliferate,” NewsGuard states, adding a new classification of “unreliable AI-generated news site,” or UAIN to the lexicon of questionable news and information content being tracked by the service. Importantly, NewsGuard identifies the economic motive for the rapidly evolving category as “seeking ad dollars” with generic-sounding news names, and said they already are publishing in at least ten languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Tagalog and Thai.
  • Spotify to artificially generate voices of hosts, Bill Simmons says Spotify is developing AI tools trained on the voices of its podcast hosts to create targeted ads.
  • TBLA is using Generative AI today to change article titles, fonts sizes, font colors and images of its ads to improve click-through rates. TBLA plans to use it for content personalization, to elongate engagement time. 
  • BuzzFeed has introduced a free chatbot called Botatouille, which serves up recipe ideas from its food brand Tasty.
  • The Washington Post has created two cross-functional teams, one strategic, one operational, to foster AI innovation.  Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan announced the development on Wednesday morning, saying it is “only the first step in establishing AI as a priority opportunity for The Washington Post.”   The two new teams are: 
  • The AI Taskforce—This group will “meet regularly to provide governance, direction, and insights about AI usage throughout The Washington Post,” Ryan writes. The initial members of the AI Taskforce are: Engineering (Patrick Burton), Product (Jessica Gilbert and Bailey Kattleman), AI Hub (Sam Han), News (Sally Buzbee and Justin Bank), Editorial (David Shipley), Legal (Jay Kennedy and Kalea Clark), Subscriptions (Mike Ribero), Revenue (Kate Davey and Johanna Mayer-Jones), PR (Kathy Baird), Analytics (Venkatesh Varalu) and Finance (Steve Gibson).
  • The AI Hub–Led by Sam Han,  will be an “operational team from across the company created to expedite our AI initiatives and foster cross-functional cooperation. It will consist of a small full-time team and “matrixed resources” from across the company. Ryan notes that the Hub will be “accountable for coordinating efforts and ensuring alignment of our AI projects with the strategies, guardrails, and priorities established by the AI Taskforce, while also focusing on future innovation.”
  • BuzzFeed CEO won’t replace writers with AI,Jonah Peretti: “Think of AI as a new medium, not as a labor replacement. We’ll need creative people to make these new formats.”·Axios CEO predicts a big media future with AI, Jim VandeHei: “Artificial intelligence will soon transform media on a scale and pace that rivals the internet two decades ago.”Bertelsmann CEO finds positives in AI, Thomas Rabe sees artificial intelligence as more of an opportunity than a threat, 
  • The rise of artificial intelligence could “fatally undermine” journalism, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson warned — echoing dire forecasts that humans may be cast aside in a variety of knowledge-based industries. Thomson raised the alarm over AI programs that can swipe proprietary content or steer away advertising dollars from “blacklisted” publications as he addressed industry leaders at the International News Media Association’s World Congress in New York on Thursday. “Our collective IP [intellectual property] is under threat” from AI, said Thomson, the top executive at The Post’s parent company, which also owns the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and the Times of London.  “Firstly, our content is being harvested and scraped and otherwise ingested to train AI engines. “Secondly, individual stories will be surfaced in specific searches.” “And, thirdly, our content will be synthesized and presented as distinct when it is actually an extracting of editorial essence,” Thomson added.
  • ChatGPT six months on: Insight from 12 news leaders on generative AI and journalism —
  • Reddit filed paperwork to go public in late 2021, just as tech-stock valuations began to slip. It hasn’t yet followed through on those plans. The company makes the bulk of its revenue from advertising, though last month it said it would start charging some third-party developers—including artificial-intelligence companies—for access to its application programming interface, or API, as part of an update to its terms of service.
  • AI poses new threats to newsrooms, and they’re taking action. The New York Times and NBC News are among the media companies that have started preliminary discussions about potential protections against generative AI systems. Digital Content Next, the digital media’s trade organization, published seven generative AI principles this week to help guide discussion.“It’s the beginning of what is going to be a hellfire,” Axios CEO Jim VandeHei said in an interview.
  • DCN’s Principles for Development and Governance of Generative AI — link
  • Time, which recently removed its paywall, is now offering a new digital service: AI-generated news quizzes to test the reader’s knowledge of the publication’s 100 years of archival content.The new interactive feature includes 10 quizzes generated by an  algorithm designed by Time using OpenAI. 
  • CNET Issues Guidelines, Saying It Will Not Write Entire Articles. CNET has clarified its policy for using artificial intelligence in shaping content, saying that no stories will be fully written by AI.   The channel’s AI platform, RAMP (Responsible AI Machine Partner) may be utilized for generating explanatory material that will be fact-checked and edited by humans.   But none of the stories on CNET “have been or will be completely written by an AI,” CNET states.  It adds, “If that changes, as technology and our processes evolve, we will disclose it here.”   Nor will CNET use AI for hands-on product testing or reviews. 
  • WordPress Releases AI Text Assistant WordPress has introduced Jetpack AI Assistant, an AI plug-in that generates and edits text directly within the WordPress interface.  The tool is described as a “creative writing partner” that streamlines content creation by generating diverse content and providing options to adjust tone and style.  It can summarize blog posts, correct grammar and spelling, translate languages, and more — while nothing we haven’t seen before, having these capabilities within one of the largest content management platforms could be a huge step forward for WordPress lovers. 
  • NewsGuard has launched what it calls an ”Unreliable AI-Generated News Tracking Center,” to identify the use of generative AI to turbocharge misinformation operations and low-quality content farms.  The tracking center highlights NewsGuard’s reports, including those that identified Russian and Chinese state-media citing AI-generated text as authority to advance false claims, NewsGuard says.  NewsGuard has identified 150 “Unrelated AI-Generated News” sites (UAINs)—”low-quality news sites that are either mostly or entirely produced by artificial intelligence, with little or no human oversight,” NewsGuard says.  
  • ChatGPT wrote an episode of a TV show. Charlie  Brooker, the creator of “Black Mirror,” said the AI-generated episode “reads plausibly” at first but on closer inspection was “shit.” How it inspired him to write better.
  • Newsroom leaders are preparing for chaos as they consider guardrails to protect their content against artificial intelligence-driven aggregation and disinformation. The New York Times and NBC News are among the media Cos that have started preliminary discussions about potential protections against generative AI systems. Digital Content Next published seven generative AI principles this week to help guide discussion — 
  • German media giant Axel Springer will establish a dedicated mergers-and-acquisitions team to look at firms specialising in artificial intelligence, CEO Matthias Doepfner said in an internal podcast to employees obtained by Reuters. The M&A competence centre “needs to entirely focus on acquisitions – early-stage acquisitions or later-stage acquisitions in AI companies – that can be, for various reasons, important or attractive for Axel Springer,” Doepfner said. “Perhaps we make five picks and five times it doesn’t work,” Doepfner said of potential takeovers. But the strategy could also turn up Axel Springer’s next StepStone, he added — 
  • Plagiarism Engine: Google’s Content-Swiping AI Could Break the Internet, The Search Generative Experience seems more like a text-copying experience –Anyone who publishes on the web and needs people to actually read their work is in a precarious position, because of Google’s SGE. Almost every publication desperately needs to keep getting referrals from Google, so they can’t opt out of being indexed and having their data scraped. But if Google makes SGE the default search experience, the amount of Google referrals may fall so sharply that they can’t keep the lights on. 
  • Google Search Generative Experience Becomes Major Challenge For Publishers Search engine optimization (SEO) experts and content creators months ago began pointing out challenges related to plagiarism and generative artificial intelligence (GAI).While early concerns focused on GAI’s potential to replace jobs and spread harmful content and misinformation, publishers now are concerned with copyright infringement and plagiarism. Then came Google’s Search Generative Engine (SGE). Some believe it “grabs facts and snippets of text from a variety of sites, cobbles them together (often word-for-word) and passes off the work as its creation.” 
  • The Beatles Come Together for ‘Last Record’ Using AI.  More than 50 years after the group’s final studio album, Paul McCartney says he has used artificial intelligence to create what he called “the last Beatles record.” — 
  • AI and media companies negotiate landmark deals over news content Google and OpenAI are discussing agreements to pay publishers over using content to train generative AI models.  The world’s biggest tech companies are in talks with leading media outlets to strike landmark deals over the use of news content to train artificial intelligence technology.
  • OpenAI, Google, Microsoft and Adobe have met news executives in recent months to discuss copyright issues around their AI products such as text chatbots and image generators, according to several people familiar with the talks.These people said that publishers including News Corp, Axel Springer, The New York Times and The Guardian have each been in discussions with at least one of the tech companies. —
  • The Guardian’s approach to generative AI.  Over the last three months, colleagues from our editorial, creative, engineering, product, legal, commercial and partnerships teams have set up a Guardian AI working group to consider how we respond to these risks and opportunities and to draft a set of Guardian-wide AI principles. We’ve also been studying other media organisations’ statements and approaches with interest. So today we’re publishing three broad principles setting out how we will and won’t use GenAI tools, as follows —
  • The Trade Desk has launched an AI platform that can act as a co-pilot for programmatic advertisers, the company claims. The new tool, Kokai, distributes deep learning algorithms throughout the digital media buying process, based on access to more than 13 million advertising impressions per second. The goal is to “surface the full power of data-driven decisioning for all marketers as intuitively as possible,” says Jeff Green, founder and CEO, the Trade Desk. 
  • Gannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S., will introduce generative AI later this year in a careful deployment that will include oversight by humans.  The company will roll out a pilot program that will use AI to identify the important points of a story and create buffeted summaries at the top in USA Today in the fourth quarter, Reuters writes.  The program will also require human vetting.  “The desire to go fast was a mistake for some of the other news services,” says Renn Turiano, senior vice president and head of product at Gannett, according to Reuters. “We’re not making that mistake.” — link
  • Axel Springer to Replace Some Editors with AI — Bild, Germany’s leading newspaper, is cutting hundreds of jobs and replacing editors with AI in a radical overhaul of its business model. “Roles such as editors, print production journalists, proofreaders, photo editors and assistants will no longer exist like they do today.” — link
  • Don’t Get Screwed Again”: News Publishers Are Banding Together in the Face of AI Threat — Industry leaders are publicly sounding the alarm and privately negotiating with the likes of OpenAI and Microsoft to get paid for their content. As News Corp CEO Robert Thomson has warned: We need to be more collectively assertive. Talk of AI was heavy in the air, I’m told, and during one freewheeling session, New York Times executive editor Joe Kahn caused some of his fellow attendees to prick up their ears when he speculated about a group effort among publishers to “make sure they don’t get screwed again,” as one person who was present summarized Kahn’s remarks. (Another attendee noted that “Joe doesn’t talk a lot in these things, so when he does, you kind of listen.”) — link
  • Vimeo is launching AI-powered tools to assist entry-level video creators with script creation, teleprompter recording, and removing pauses and disruptions in speech.
  • Cision, the media communications platform through which marketers and public relations people deliver information to journalists, has unveiled a code of ethics tied to its development of AI-driven capabilities.  “The transformative power of AI has already impacted many aspects of communications, enabling us to better understand our audiences, craft more effective messaging and automate time-consuming tasks,” says Antony Cousins, executive director of AI strategy at Cision. “However, we must acknowledge that along with these benefits come potential risks to accuracy, privacy, fairness, transparency and equality.” 

Insights provided by Matthew Scott Goldstein, from his Quarterly newsletter “What I Saw Happen

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