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Artificial Intelligence Is Digging Into Newspaper Paywalls

Tonhere it is Big news from Canada last week – but if you’re in Canada, you might have missed it. On Feb. 22, during a five-week trial, Google discovered that Google was blocking access to news content, affecting about 4% of users in the country. The measure comes as Canada’s Senate is considering a bill that would force large internet companies to pay publishers to display links to their stories. Google said it might block them outright; the Canadian government said the search engine’s actions constituted intimidation.

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This is the latest episode in the global debate between new media and old media. News organizations that have lost most of their ad revenue online over the past two decades have accused search engines and social networks of profiting from content that did not belong to them. Google and Facebook get most of the flak, countering that they only show links and a few lines of text, not the article itself, and doing so drives traffic to publishers (publishers can opt out in any case if they choose ). Facebook estimates it sends 1.9 billion clicks to Canadian media each year, with a publicity value of C$230 million (US$170 million).

Arguments from online platforms have mostly fallen on deaf ears. Buoyed by domestic media, governments in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and Spain have passed or proposed laws aimed at squeezing money out of Silicon Valley and into local media companies. Laws passed in Australia in 2021 urge tech companies to make payments to Australian media worth about A$200 million ($135 million) in the first year of the scheme.

To avoid similar legislation elsewhere, Google and Facebook have created mechanisms to offer “support” to media companies. Google’s “News Showcase” will spend about $1 billion in 2020-23 to license content from more than 2,000 news organizations in more than 20 countries. Facebook’s News tab (which economist has participated) does something similar, but has been scaled down recently. Unlike Google, Facebook can live without news, which makes up only 3% of what users see in their feeds.

The laws sometimes give the impression of a government crackdown on wealthy foreign tech companies. But the growth of the search business means publishers’ complaints seem increasingly justified. Search engines are getting better at presenting information without directing visitors to outside sources. Ask Google for the population size of Canada, and it just tells you it’s 38 million in 2021 (followed by the usual list of suggested sites). According to online marketing firm Semrush, about a quarter of desktop Google searches now don’t lead to a click.

artificial intelligence(artificial intelligence) is expected to significantly improve this capability.Google’s artificial intelligence Assistant Bud is still under wraps. But its competitor, which is incorporated into Microsoft’s Bing search engine, is already solving queries.Ask old Bing for a summary of Canada’s last election results, and it points to sites including Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news and Globe and Mail. Ask the new Bing, which itself offers a nice account (and links to resources with footnotes). artificial intelligence Assistant can even reach behind paywalls.A user tries to find New York TimesThe Macaroni and Cheese Cookbook will be discontinued due to payment and subscription requirements.But ask Bing artificial intelligence It offers paraphrased versions of entire recipes, complete with a lip-licking emoji.

Search companies admit they are still finding their way around new technologies, most of which have not yet been fully released. That’s unlikely to please the publisher’s lawyers. According to the general counsel of a major media company, artificial intelligence– Search companies should be made to license their duplicate content, just like Spotify has to pay record labels to play their songs. artificial intelligenceUsing other people’s material is “the copyright problem of our time,” he said. For years, publishers’ complaints about platforms sounded hollow. Now they have a real story in their hands.

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