The New York Times Exit from AI Coalition to Shape the Future of Media-Tech Negotiations


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In a surprising turn of events, The New York Times has opted to distance itself from a collaborative endeavor involving media companies that sought to collectively address the use of their content in training artificial intelligence (AI) models. This decision marks a setback for Barry Diller’s ambitious initiative to establish a united industry front against technology giants like Google and Microsoft.

The New York Times’s withdrawal from the proposed coalition is a significant blow to Barry Diller’s vision of creating a collective force to negotiate with major tech companies. Speaking at a Semafor media event in April, Diller voiced the idea that publishers should consider legal avenues against tech companies that deploy AI models trained on data generated by media organizations. His company, IAC, took the lead in spearheading an effort to bring together influential publishers, aiming to advocate for legislative measures and potential legal actions. These actions aimed to compel tech giants to allocate billions of dollars as compensation to publishers for using their content.

Expectations shattered

Reports indicated that discussions involving IAC CEO Joey Levin, Barry Diller, and media entities such as Axel Springer and News Corp implied that The New York Times aligned with the coalition’s objectives. Including well-respected news pillars like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal in this coalition would have undoubtedly lent immense credibility to its cause. However, recent developments reveal that The New York Times has chosen not to proceed with this coalition effort.

Sources about the matter disclosed that while discussions regarding The New York Times’ participation occurred, a definitive commitment to the coalition was never solidified. This sudden deviation from earlier expectations demonstrates the complexities and challenges of uniting diverse media organizations under a single negotiation umbrella.

Shift in negotiation dynamics

The withdrawal of The New York Times has implications that extend beyond the immediate coalition. As a result, other media publishers may reconsider their participation and alignment with the coalition’s goals. The move by The New York Times leaves room for individual publishers to explore alternative negotiation strategies and arrangements with major tech companies.

Earlier in the year, the Associated Press (AP) set a precedent by agreeing with OpenAI, the creator of the ChatGPT AI model. The deal involved licensing the AP’s extensive news story archive to OpenAI for two years. This individual agreement showcased the willingness of media organizations to engage in direct negotiations with tech companies, bypassing the potential challenges of a large-scale coalition.

Challenges and opportunities

The New York Times’ divergence from the coalition underscores the intricate nature of negotiations between media organizations and technology giants. Different publishers’ varying interests, priorities, and strategies necessitate careful consideration and customization of negotiation approaches. While the unity envisioned by Barry Diller’s initiative may have been a powerful statement, the realities of the media landscape are multi-dimensional.

Despite this setback, the door remains open for media organizations and tech companies to find common ground and establish mutually beneficial agreements. The withdrawal of The New York Times highlights the importance of tailoring negotiation strategies to suit individual publishers’ specific circumstances and goals.

The departure of The New York Times from the proposed coalition aimed at negotiating with major tech companies over AI content usage represents a pivotal moment in the ongoing dialogue between media organizations and technology giants. The media landscape continues to evolve, with negotiations taking on a more dynamic and individualized character. As media companies navigate this shifting terrain, the legacy of this episode will likely influence the course of negotiations and partnerships between media and tech entities for years to come.

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Glory Kaburu

Glory is an extremely knowledgeable journalist proficient with AI tools and research. She is passionate about AI and has authored several articles on the subject. She keeps herself abreast of the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and writes about them regularly.

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