Today’s Cache | OpenAI sued by authors; YouTube tests cutting off ad-block users; Google to block news in Canada

Updated - July 01, 2023 09:22 am IST

Published - June 30, 2023 01:03 pm IST

File photo of Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI

File photo of Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI | Photo Credit: REUTERS

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

OpenAI sued by authors

Authors Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad have sued the maker of the AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT, claiming that OpenAI violated the copyrights of numerous authors by scraping their books for data to train the AI model without compensating the creators or getting their permission. Their complaint said that over 300,000 books could have been mined in this way, with some books being sourced through digital databases holding pirated copies.

Apart from ChatGPT, text-to-image generators powered by AI have also faced legal challenges from artists, who claimed their work was part of the data sets used to train these models.

YouTube tests cutting off ad-block users

The video sharing platform has decided to crack down on users who view its content without advertisements. YouTube is reportedly running a small global experiment to cut off users with ad-blockers who watch more than three videos, if they do not disable their ad-block tool or subscribe to the paid YouTube Premium service for an ad-free experience.

In order to nudge viewers towards YouTube Premium, the Google-owned platform has been increasing the number of unskippable ads it shows to viewers, as well as their duration. YouTube confirmed that it would ask users multiple times to disable their ad-blocks and only cut them off as a last resort.

Google to block news in Canada

Google has confirmed it will no longer show news on its platform to Canada-based users after the country’s government passed the Online News Act, which requires Big Tech platforms like Google and Meta to compensate news publishers for sharing their content on these sites. Google called the plan “unworkable” and said that both news readers and journalists would be affected by the move.

Google had previously tested low-level blocks for a fraction of users in the country to prepare for the law, should it get passed. Canada’s government has defended the Online News Act as necessary in order to ensure the health of its media industry, which saw a number of local news organisations shutting down.

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