A.I. represents an ‘existential threat to democracy’, says Mail chief
- DMGT chief Lord Rothermere accuses tech companies of ‘ripping off’ news articles
Artificial intelligence could destroy independent news publishers in Britain and pose an “existential threat to democracy”, the executive chairman of the owner of The Ny Breaking has warned.
Lord Rothermere accused tech companies of ‘ripping off’ news articles from journalists from his DMGT media group to train their AI models.
The tech companies then used the content, which was taken without permission, to make a profit, he said.
Crucially, they did this without any consideration of the consequences or responsibility for the “effectiveness” of the content, he warned.
Lord Rothermere (pictured), the executive chairman of The Ny Breaking’s owner, accused tech companies of ‘ripping off’ news articles from journalists at his DMGT media group to train their AI models
Artificial intelligence could destroy independent news publishers in Britain and pose an ‘existential threat to democracy’, Lord Rothermere has warned
In an interview with The Times, Lord Rothermere said: ‘It’s all very well to talk about Britain being a leader in AI, and I think that’s fantastic, but there are huge implications to this technology. And it’s not just the danger of the (newspaper) industry being torn apart, but also other industries, all the creative industries.
‘How many jobs will be lost? What will be the damage to the economy if these predatory organizations are allowed to continue operating without any legal consequences?
‘All this needs sober heads. The danger here is that these enormous platforms become involved in an arms race with each other.
“They look like fighting elephants and then everyone else is like mice being trampled without even realizing the consequences of their actions.”
Lord Rothermere revealed that DMGT is considering taking legal action against the AI companies, who he claimed had trained their models using what is known as the ‘CNN/DailyMail Dataset’ – a database of hundreds of thousands of news articles written by journalists from The Ny Breaking and the American news network CNN.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (left) shakes hands with X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk after a discussion event in London on November 2 following the UK AI Safety Summit
Lord Rothermere said DMGT had experimented with using AI to help reporters publish their stories faster – but found it took them longer to check the accuracy of the article produced by the technology than if they wrote it themselves.
He also criticized the BBC’s dominance of the British media market.
Lord Rothermere said: ‘The BBC is by far the largest media organization in Britain.
‘It is free. People love it. You can’t begrudge them that.
‘But it almost seems as if competition law applies to everyone except the BBC.
‘The BBC can run where it wants and do whatever it wants because it’s a perfect organization and we’re all compromised in some way.’