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How news coverage, often uncritical, helps build up the AI hype

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David Reid, a professor of Artificial Intelligence at Liverpool Hope University, recently expressed his dissatisfaction with media reporting on AI, giving it a low rating of two out of 10.
Reid argues that media often oversimplifies AI, treating it as a monolithic entity rather than recognizing its diverse applications and complexities. His sentiments find support in social science research on news media coverage of artificial intelligence.
In the technology industry, similar criticisms abound. Zachary Lipton, formerly of Carnegie Mellon University, once labeled media coverage of AI as “sensationalized crap” and likened it to an “AI misinformation epidemic.” Many computer scientists and technologists echo these sentiments, decrying what they perceive as relentlessly negative coverage fixated on topics like “killer robots.”
Indeed, some media outlets sensationalize AI-related stories, often focusing on futuristic scenarios depicted in movies like Terminator, while downplaying real-world issues such as discrimination and environmental impact. Independent researcher Nirit Weiss-Blatt has highlighted this tendency, referring to it as the “AI panic.”
Despite occasional critiques, research indicates that much of the media coverage on AI tends to be industry-driven and predominantly positive. Studies conducted in the UK and Canada reveal a strong presence of industry voices in AI reporting, with a focus on industry products and initiatives. Moreover, analyses of AI coverage across different countries suggest that national priorities and contexts influence media narratives.
While these studies predate the recent surge in coverage of generative AI, they provide valuable context for understanding media dynamics in the AI space. Early research on headlines in the UK suggests recurring patterns in coverage of generative AI, oscillating between optimism and caution.
Overall, most research on media coverage of AI indicates a largely positive evaluation and economic framing of these technologies. However, there are exceptions, with some reporters providing insightful coverage while others sensationalize topics like killer robots and existential risks.
In conclusion, while there are commendable efforts by some journalists to provide accurate coverage of AI, the overall landscape remains dominated by industry sources and sensationalized narratives. Moving forward, a more critical and nuanced approach to reporting on AI is necessary to provide the public with a balanced understanding of the technology and its implications.
Source: reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk
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EU’s new AI rules: Industry opposed to revealing guarded trade secrets

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New regulations in the European Union (EU) are set to compel companies to increase transparency regarding the data they use to train artificial intelligence (AI) systems, potentially unveiling closely guarded industry practices, reports the Times of India.
Since OpenAI, supported by Microsoft, introduced ChatGPT to the public 18 months ago, there has been a surge in public interest and investment in generative AI. This technology enables rapid generation of text, images, and audio content.
As the AI industry expands, concerns have emerged regarding how companies source data for training their models, particularly whether using content from popular books and movies without creators’ consent constitutes a breach of copyright.
The EU’s new AI Act, phased in over the next two years, mandates stricter regulations while allowing time for businesses to adjust to new requirements. Nevertheless, the practical implementation of these rules remains uncertain, notes the report.
Mandating “detailed summaries”
A contentious provision of the AI Act requires organizations deploying general-purpose AI models like ChatGPT to provide “detailed summaries” of the training data. The newly established AI Office plans to release a template for these summaries by early 2025 after consulting stakeholders. However, AI companies oppose disclosing their training data, arguing it as a trade secret that could unfairly benefit competitors if made public, the report reveals.
In the past year, major tech firms including Google, OpenAI, and Stability AI have faced lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of content for AI training. Despite US President Joe Biden’s executive orders addressing AI security risks, legal challenges regarding copyright remain largely untested, the report adds.
Backlash against OpenAI
Amid heightened scrutiny, tech companies have struck content-licensing deals with media outlets and websites. OpenAI, for instance, has partnered with the Financial Times and The Atlantic, while Google has collaborated with NewsCorp and Reddit.
Despite these efforts, OpenAI drew criticism in March when Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati declined to confirm whether YouTube videos were used to train its video-generating tool, Sora, citing potential violations of company terms and conditions.
Source: business-standard.com
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Picsart teams up with Getty to take on Adobe’s ‘commercially-safe’ AI

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Picsart and Getty Images are joining forces to develop an AI image generator exclusively trained on Getty’s licensed stock content.
According to Picsart, their AI lab is constructing a bespoke model from the ground up to power this tool. It aims to provide the platform’s paying subscribers with the ability to generate images that come with full commercial rights. This initiative seeks to address persistent concerns about potential copyright violations associated with AI-generated content. The Picsart / Getty Images generator is slated for launch later this year and will be accessible through Picsart’s API services.
This collaboration bears similarities to Adobe’s Firefly AI model, initially introduced as a prompt-based image generation tool within Photoshop last year. Adobe has since expanded its integration across various Creative Cloud applications. Adobe’s model also emphasizes commercial safety by training on stock images from Adobe’s own library, along with openly licensed or out-of-copyright content. However, questions remain about the integrity of the training data and user trust in Adobe’s approach.
Getty Images has previously ventured into commercially-focused AI products through partnerships with Bria AI and Runway, and by teaming up with Nvidia to introduce “Generative AI by Getty Images,” leveraging its extensive catalog of licensed images. Adobe’s widespread integration of the Firefly model into popular applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and Express may pose a challenge for Picsart’s new offering in terms of attracting creatives away from Adobe’s established ecosystem.
Source: theverge.com
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Microsoft to delay release of Recall AI feature on security concerns

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On June 13, Microsoft announced that it will postpone the rollout of its AI-powered feature “Recall” with new computers next week due to privacy concerns. Instead, the tech giant plans to offer Recall for preview to a smaller group later, following feedback and additional testing.
Recall is designed to track various activities from web browsing to voice chats, compiling a searchable history stored on the user’s computer. This allows users to easily retrieve past actions, even months later.
Originally slated for broad availability on June 18 for Copilot+ PC users, Recall will now undergo a preview phase exclusively within Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks. This decision, as stated in a blog post by the Redmond, Washington-based company, underscores their commitment to ensuring a trusted, secure, and reliable experience for all customers.
Copilot+ PCs, introduced in May, feature advanced AI capabilities aimed at enhancing user interactions and productivity. The WIP, a platform for software testing, enables enthusiasts to preview upcoming Windows operating system features.
Microsoft intends to incorporate feedback from the WIP community before extending the Recall preview to all Copilot+ PC users in the near future.
Following the feature’s announcement, concerns over privacy were swiftly voiced on social media, with some users fearing potential surveillance implications. Elon Musk, prominent technologist and billionaire, likened Recall to a scenario from the dystopian series “Black Mirror,” highlighting societal apprehensions about the impact of advanced technologies.
Source: reuters.com

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