Friday 15th March: Lessons from day 1 of Mx3 Innovation

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We were lucky enough to be involved in the MX3 AI event in London last year, so it’s fascinating to see what’s coming out of its inaugural event in Barcelona. This roundup of the first day jumped out at me because of what was said — tacitly and explicitly — about the relationship between AI companies and publishers:

“Some speakers welcomed the New York Times’ lawsuit against Open AI. They did not want to speculate about the outcome but stressed that it could have a huge impact on publishers and AI developers alike. Natasha Christie-Miller, the former CEO of Ascential Intelligence… said she was incredibly concerned about the impact of Large Language Models (LLMs) on all content providers, regardless of whether they are B2B or B2C.”

This is likely to be a flashpoint over the next few months, and will inevitably get confused with the discussions around direct payments for content. But what’s becoming extremely apparent very quickly is that recompense for AI training is rising on publishers’ priority lists, in both B2C and B2B spaces.

It’s not just the public that separates itself from forms of communication: journalists are increasingly doing so too. I’ve been on the end of a few Twitter pile-ons myself — from GB News and Johnny Depp fans — and it’s unpleasant! I can’t imagine how bad it must be for journalists who aren’t straight cis white men, so this is a much-needed look at how journalism bosses can protect their journalists.

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I’ve heard about the impact of overly negative news stories on consumers’ relationship with newspapers a couple of times over the past few months. Spoilers: it’s not great. In this free version of the Baekdal Plus article, friend of the podcast Thomas Baekdal takes a look at what effect that has on democracy in turn, through how it limits the ability of journalists to serve the public trust.

A brief update to the saga of UAE-backed Redbird IMI and its efforts to take over The Telegraph. The government is set to put forward “an amendment preventing foreign state ownership of newspapers or news magazines” — which I’m sure won’t open up any cans of worms whatsoever. How about looking at where some of the owners of our current newspapers are currently registered for tax, also?

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