At Senate AI hearing, news executives fight against “fair use” claims for AI training data

Enlarge / Danielle Coffey, president and CEO of News Media Alliance; Professor Jeff Jarvis, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; Curtis LeGeyt, president and CEO of National Association of Broadcasters; and Roger Lynch, CEO of Condé Nast, are sworn in during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law hearing on “Artificial Intelligence and The Future Of Journalism.” (credit: Getty Images)

On Wednesday, news industry executives urged Congress for legal clarification that using journalism to train AI assistants like ChatGPT is not fair use, as claimed by companies such as OpenAI. Instead, they would prefer a licensing regime for AI training content that would force Big Tech companies to pay for content in a method similar to rights clearinghouses for music.

The plea for action came during a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Oversight of A.I.: The Future of Journalism,” chaired by Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, with Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri also playing a large role in the proceedings. Last year, the pair of senators introduced a bipartisan framework for AI legislation and held a series of hearings on the impact of AI.

Blumenthal described the situation as an “existential crisis” for the news industry and cited social media as a cautionary tale for legislative inaction about AI. “We need to move more quickly than we did on social media and learn from our mistakes in the delay there,” he said.

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