The Future. As generative AI competes with the people and platforms we rely on for information and entertainment, it threatens to damage areas of the internet we find useful (product reviews, blogs, tutorials). If machine-generated content overrides human authorship, some websites could be pushed out of business, possibly leaving AI systems without any new content to repurpose.
How businesses are adapting
Some companies are benefiting from AI’s scalability, while others are reconsidering their platform openness in response to AI firms scraping their data.
- Wikipedia is looking into how AI systems can write articles, despite its tendency to fabricate facts and sources.
- Google is testing a new search feature where AI-generated summaries replace its 10 blue links, potentially reducing traffic to the original sources.
- Reddit plans to increase charges to access its API, with CEO Steve Huffman telling NYT, “We don’t need to give all of [our] value to some of the largest companies in the world for free.”
- Stack Overflow intends to charge firms that scrape its data while building AI tools of its own.
What lies ahead
Though many site moderators say AI output will lower the quality of the internet in general, some execs say it’s worth the risk due to its raw abundance. But this abundance still relies on human beings to create the underlying data.
While generative AI spins a new web, the old web — and how we’ve traditionally accessed and consumed information online — may be laid to rest.