I really fear for the internet and what it will become in even just another year, with the rise of AI writing and AI art being used in place of real people. And now OpenAI openly state they need to use copyrighted works for training material.
As reported by The Guardian, the New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft over copyright infringement and just recently OpenAI sent a submission to the UK House of Lords Communications and Digital Select Committee where OpenAI said pretty clearly:
Because copyright today covers virtually every sort of human expression– including blog posts, photographs, forum posts, scraps of software code, and government documents–it would be impossible to train today’s leading AI models without using copyrighted materials. Limiting training data to public domain books and drawings created more than a century ago might yield an interesting experiment, but would not provide AI systems that meet the needs of today’s citizens.
Worth noting OpenAI put up their own news post "OpenAI and journalism" on January 8th.
Why am I writing about this here? Well, the reasoning is pretty simple. AI writing is (on top of other things) increasing the race to the bottom of content for clicks. Search engines have quickly become a mess to find what you actually want, and it's only going to continue getting far worse thanks to all these SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) bait content farms, with more popping up all the time, and we've already seen some bigger websites trial AI writing. The internet is a mess.
As time goes on, and as more people use AI to pinch content and write entire articles, we're going to hand off profitable writing to a select few big names only who can weather the storm and handle it. A lot of smaller scale websites are just going to die off. Any time you search for something, it will be those big names sprinkled in between the vast AI website farms all with very similar robotic plain writing styles.
Many (most?) websites make content for search engines, not for people. The Verge recently did a rather fascinating piece on this showing how websites are designed around Google, and it really is something worth scrolling through and reading.
One thing you can count on: my perfectly imperfect writing full of terrible grammar continuing without the use of AI. At least it's natural right? I write as I speak, for better or worse. By humans, for humans — a tagline I plan to stick with until AI truly takes over and I have to go find a job flipping burgers or something. But then again, there will be robots for that too. I think I need to learn how to fish…