Generative AI May Need News Organizations, Journalism to Succeed

In the year since Open AI introduced ChatGPT to the world, almost 600 media organizations have blocked the technology from scraping their content. 

Two other AI chat bots — Google AI’s Bard and Common Crawl’s CCBot — are also blocked by some or most of those same news organizations.

The list grows longer each day, according to Ben Welsh, a news applications editor for Reuters, who compiled a survey of news organizations for his media blog. 

“What we are seeing here is that news publishers, at least half of them in my survey, want to put the brakes on this a little bit and not just allow themselves to be included in this without some sort of conversation or negotiation with the Open AI company,” Welsh said. 

Open AI, the creator of ChatGPT, offered 1,153 news organizations the option to block its chat bot in August 2023. As of Wednesday, nearly half have taken up that offer.   

While most are U.S. organizations, including The New York Times and CNN, the list also includes international media groups, including Australia’s ABC News, The Times of India, and The South African.   

Welsh’s survey didn’t dig deeply into the reasons for blocking ChatGPT, but he said that commercial media tend to be among the groups that stop ChatGPT whereas nonprofits are more likely to share content.  

VOA’s attempts to contact ChatGPT via LinkedIn, email and at its offices in San Francisco were unsuccessful.

Seen as threat  

Many media analysts and press freedom groups see AI as a threat to publishers and broadcasters, as well as a threat to ethical journalism. 

Among the chief concerns are the use of artificial intelligence to create false narratives and fake visuals and to amplify misinformation and disinformation. 

“It is clearly possible that some groups or organizations use and fine-tune models to create tailored disinformation that suits their projects or their purpose,” said Vincent Berthier, who manages the technology desk at Reporters Without Borders, or RSF. “But right now, today, the higher risk of disinformation comes from generative AI from pictures and deep fakes.” 

RSF organized a commission made up of 32 journalism and AI experts, led by Nobel laureate and disinformation expert Maria Ressa, to regulate how media use the technology.  

The resulting Paris Charter on AI and Journalism, released in November, sets parameters for the use of AI for news organizations and makes clear that journalists must take a leading role.   

RSF’s Berthier believes that many of the organizations opting out are sending a clear message to AI developers. 

“What media companies are saying is AI won’t be built without us and it is exactly RSF’s position on this topic,” Berthier said. “It is the spirit of the charter we released this month saying that media and journalism should be part of AI governance.”   

Media freedom is already at risk from Big Tech and social media algorithms, Berthier said. 

“That’s why we fight every day to protect press freedom and just make sure that journalists can still do their jobs to give the most accurate information to the public,” he said. 

The Associated Press became partners with OpenAI in a news content and information sharing agreement in July.  

Pamela Samuelson, a MacArthur Fellow, University of California-Berkeley law professor and information technology expert, said the deal might be just the beginning of many licensing agreements and partnerships between AI and journalism.  

But she also predicted that companies would work to develop their own AI. 

“So The New York Times might be doing it, CNN might be doing it, we just don’t know,” Samuelson said. “They will announce either their own generative stuff or they will just keep it in house.” 

Ethical concerns

As the debate over the use of AI in journalism unfolds, many news organizations and journalists cite ethical concerns and reservations about its use.   

Others cite economic factors, such as the use of their copyrighted materials and unique intellectual property without payment or provenance.   

But, said Samuelson, “The predictions of doom, doom, doom are probably overblown.” 

“Predictions that everything is going to be perfect, that is probably wrong, too,” she added. “We will have to find some new equilibrium.” 

Generative AI can write computer code, create art, produce research and even write news articles. But makers widely admit in disclaimers that there are problems with its reliability and accuracy.  

There is also growing fear among researchers that a dependence on generative AI to both produce and access news and information is spreading and that too often the information being dispensed isn’t reliable or accurate. 

“There is one thing that journalism puts right up at the top of the list and that’s accuracy and that is a weakness of these tools,” Welsh said. “While they are incredibly great at being creative and generating all sorts of interesting outputs, one thing they struggle with is getting the facts right.” 

Some AI analysts and watchers say the growing list of news organizations blocking AI bots could further affect that quality.

Киву вбили під Москвою. Конгрес заблокував допомогу Україні. План війни на 2024 рік

В українських силових структурах підтвердили смерть колишнього народного депутата України Іллі Киви. Він з початком повномасштабного вторгнення переїхав до Росії. І там поширював вигідні Кремлю наративи, ставши частим гостем на російському державному телебаченні. Хто причетний до смерті Киви та як усе сталось?
В американському Конгресі заблокували законопроєкт про надання Україні та Ізраїлю нової фінансової допомоги для безпекових потреб. Причина цьому – наполягання республіканців на вимозі про посилення контролю за імміграцією на кордоні США з Мексикою. Наскільки ця ситуація загрозлива для України та чи є варіанти її зміни?
План війни. Міністр оборони України Рустем Умєров заявив, що Україна має план війни на наступний рік, а Збройні сили України підійшли до третьої лінії оборони армії Росії. Наскільки ця лінія оборони потужна? Та чи означає це, що ЗСУ стрімкіше просуватимуться вперед?
В іноземних ЗМІ начебто йде підготовка дезінформаційної кампанії проти вищого керівництва України з метою розколу суспільства. Таке повідомлення поширили в Центрі протидії дезінформації. Чи якісно Україна протистоїть інформаційним викликам та як саме?

Про це та інше дивіться у програмі «Свобода.Ранок» о 9:00 на @Радіо Свобода:




Уряд Ізраїлю схвалив збільшення поставок палива для Сектора Гази

Ізраїль у середу схвалив «мінімальне» збільшення поставок палива до Сектора Гази, щоб запобігти «гуманітарному колапсу», повідомила канцелярія прем’єр-міністра Біньяміна Нетаньягу.

«Мінімальне допостачання палива необхідне для запобігання гуманітарному колапсу та спалаху епідемій», – повідомила канцелярія Нетаньягу у твітері.

Повідомляється, що поставки будуть здійснені у південну частину Сектора Гази.

Ця «мінімальна кількість» переглядатиметься «іноді військовим кабінетом», додали в уряді, не вказавши, наскільки збільшаться поставки.

Як передає The Times of Israel, рішення про збільшення обсягів палива для Гази було ухвалене за наполягання США. Вашингтон зажадав подвоїти або навіть потроїти щоденні поставки у 60 000 літрів.

За даними ООН, 3-4 грудня у Сектор Гази через КПП «Рафах» пройшли приблизно по 100 вантажівок з гуманітарною допомогою та по 70 тонн палива. Це набагато менше тих обсягів допомоги, яка була доставлена до Гази під час гуманітарної паузи 24 литопада – 1 грудня.

Biden Clears Path for Tribal Nations to Access Federal Funds

U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday that his administration is committed to writing “a new and better chapter of history” for more than 570 native communities in the U.S. by — among other things — making it easier for them to access federal funding. A leader of one of the largest communities speaks to VOA about those efforts and how some of the themes of native history continue to play out halfway across the planet. VOA White House correspondent Anita Powell reports from the Department of the Interior.

Biden Clears Path for Tribal Nations to Access Federal Funds

U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday that his administration is committed to writing “a new and better chapter of history” for its more than 570 native communities by, among other things, making it easier for them to access federal funding.

“It’s hard work to heal the wrongs of the past and change the course and move forward,” Biden said. “But the actions we’re taking today are key steps into that new era of tribal sovereignty and self-determination. A new era grounded in dignity and respect, that recognizes your fundamental rights to govern and grow on your own terms. That’s what this summit is all about.”

Biden, speaking at the U.S. Department of the Interior, which sits on the ancestral land of the Nacotchtank people, announced more than 190 agreements during a two-day summit of some 300 tribal leaders.

They include an executive order that will make it easier to access federal funding, plus efforts to clean up nuclear sites, support clean energy transitions and work toward the repatriation of native remains and sacred objects.

The administration will also release a progress report on its efforts to date.

Hope for more

The leader of one of the largest groups told VOA that the government’s efforts have been “very, very positive” and said he hoped to see more.

“The most important thing for the Cherokee Nation, I think — and all tribes — is the efficient deployment of resources, and then allowing tribes to decide how to use those resources,” said Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

But, he said, as his people know too well, land dispossession and conflict is not ancient history. Here’s his advice to Biden and Middle Eastern leaders as war rages in Gaza after the October 7 attack by Hamas militants:

“We have a history of being dispossessed from our land,” he said. “And so, I would just say, remind people that there’s a way to balance rights. I think we’re trying to do that in the United States in terms of Indian Country versus the rest of the country.

“We haven’t perfected it, but I think we’re making some progress,” Hoskin said. “So, all I would say is the respect and dignity that every human being deserves ought to be on display.”

Youth see potential

Younger tribal citizens say they have high expectations. Sareya Taylor, the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of Phoenix, is a member of the White Mountain Apache and Navajo communities.

“I voted for Biden in 2020,” said Taylor, 21. “And I believe there’s so much more that can be done, especially in terms of climate and how we look at food sovereignty.”

But if she could ask the president for anything, she said, it would be for a cease-fire in Gaza.

“As an Indigenous person, I see my history, like, being like, livestreamed right now,” she said. “If that were happening to us, I’d like to believe that it would be stopped immediately. But you know, considering President Biden won’t even call for a cease-fire, I don’t know about that.”

Hoskin, who is nearly three decades older than Taylor, took a more measured view.

“Obviously, if these were easy issues, somebody would have solved them a long time ago,” he said.

But, he said, step by step, the U.S. government is working to right past wrongs on its own soil.

“Certainly, it would be accurate to say the United States has an appalling record towards Indigenous peoples,” he said. “Is it perfect now? No, it’s not. But we’re making progress.”

Former US House Speaker McCarthy Announces Resignation

Two months after his historic ouster as leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy of California announced Wednesday that he will resign from his congressional seat by the end of the year.

His announcement capped a stunning end for the one-time deli owner from Bakersfield, who ascended through state and national politics to become second in line to the presidency before a contingent of hard-right conservatives engineered his removal in October.

McCarthy is the only House speaker in history to be voted out of the job.

“No matter the odds, or personal cost, we did the right thing,” McCarthy wrote in The Wall Street Journal, announcing his decision.

“It is in this spirit that I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve America in new ways,” he wrote.

An announcement on McCarthy’s future had been expected, with the filing deadline to seek reelection only days away. But his decision ricocheted across Capitol Hill, where his departure will leave the already paper-thin House GOP majority even tighter, with just a few seats to spare.

It comes during a wave of retirements in the House, which has been riven by Republican infighting and the rare expulsion last week of indicted Republican Representative George Santos of New York, dashing hopes for major accomplishments and leaving the majority straining to conduct the basic business of governing.

McCarthy had brought the Republicans into the majority but found it was much more difficult to lead the GOP’s hard-edged factions.

His toppling from the chamber’s top post was fueled by grievances from his party’s hard-right flank, including over his decision to work with Democrats to keep the federal government open rather than risk a shutdown.

McCarthy, 58, arrived in the House in January 2007 after a stint in the California Assembly, where he served as minority leader. In Congress, he maneuvered through his party’s hierarchy — serving as majority whip and Republican leader along the way — before being elected speaker in January 2023.

The dayslong floor fight that preceded his elevation to the House’s top job foreshadowed a stormy tenure, at a time when former President Donald Trump remained the de facto leader of the party and deep divisions within the GOP raised serious questions about the party’s ability to govern.

It took a record 15 votes over four days for McCarthy to line up the support he needed to win the post he had long coveted, finally prevailing on a 216-212 vote with Democrats backing leader Hakeem Jeffries and six Republican holdouts voting present. Not since the Civil War era has a speaker’s vote dragged through so many rounds of counting.

McCarthy emerged from the fight weakened, especially considering Republicans held only a fragile margin in the chamber after a predicted “red wave” failed to materialize in the 2022 elections.

Once installed as speaker, his well-known savvy for fundraising and political glad-handing appeared ill-suited for corralling his party’s disputatious hard-right faction. And deals he cut to become speaker — including a rules change that allowed any single lawmaker to file a motion to remove him — left him vulnerable.

When he became speaker, “he faced new challenges that required a different skill set,” said Claremont McKenna College political scientist Jack Pitney, a one-time domestic policy analyst for House Republicans. “The deals he made to become speaker made it almost impossible for him to succeed as speaker.”

McCarthy, the son of a firefighter and a homemaker, has long depicted himself as an unflagging battler. He is fond of quoting his father, who told him, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”

US Charges Russian-Affiliated Soldiers With War Crimes

The United States is charging four Russian-affiliated soldiers with war crimes for what American prosecutors describe as the heinous abuse of a U.S. citizen following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of last year. 

The charges – the first ever filed by the U.S. under its nearly 30-year-old war crimes statute – include conspiracy to commit war crimes, unlawful confinement, torture, and inhumane treatment, following the takeover of the village of Mylove, in the Kherson oblast of southern Ukraine in April 2022. 

“As the world has witnessed the horrors of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, so has the United States Department of Justice,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday.  

“The Justice Department and the American people have a long memory,” he added. “We will not forget the atrocities in Ukraine, and we will never stop working to bring those responsible to justice.” 

According to the nine-page indictment, the perpetrators include Suren Seiranovich Mkrtchyan and Dmitry Budnik, described as commanding officers with either the Russian Armed Forces or the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic. 

Two other soldiers named in the indictment – Valerii and Nazar – are identified only by their first names. 

Garland and other U.S. officials said Wednesday the victim was a non-combatant living with his Ukrainian wife in Mylove when the four Russians kidnapped him from his home. 

They allegedly then stripped him naked, tied his hands behind his back, put a gun to his head, and beat him, before taking him to an improvised Russian military compound. 

The indictment states the victim was then taken to an improvised jail where he was subject to multiple interrogations and “acts specifically intended to inflict severe and serious physical and mental pain and suffering.” 

Additionally, the indictment alleges at least one of the Russian soldiers sexually assaulted the victim, and that the Russians carried out a mock execution.

“They moved the gun just before pulling the trigger, and the bullet went just past his head,” Garland said. “After the mock execution, the victim was beaten and interrogated again.” 

The victim was also forced to perform manual labor, such as digging trenches for Russian forces, until he was finally released after a little over a week in detention.

U.S. officials said the charges against the four Russian-affiliated soldiers stem from an investigation that started in August 2022, when investigators with the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Homeland security traveled to meet with the victim after he had been evacuated from Ukraine.

They said evidence was also collected in collaboration with Ukrainian officials.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday investigators also met with members of the victim’s family and with multiple witnesses who were able to confirm Russian forces occupied the village of Mylove and the surrounding areas during the time the alleged war crimes took place.

“We cannot allow such horrific crimes to be ignored. To do so would only increase the risk they will be repeated,” Mayorkas said.

“As today’s announcement makes clear, when an American citizen’s human rights are violated, their government will spare no effort and spare no resources to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he added. 

VOA contacted the Russian Embassy in Washington for comment about the charges. Embassy officials have yet to respond.

U.S. officials, meanwhile, indicated that while the war crimes charges announced on Wednesday are the first, they likely will not be the last.

“You should expect more,” Garland told reporters. “I can’t get into too many details.” 

Зеленський анонсував «активний початок» наступного року для України на міжнародній арені

Президент Володимир Зеленський очікує «активного початку» наступного року для України на міжнародній арені.

«Провів нараду з міжнародниками МЗС, Офісу. Готуємо активне продовження грудня, активний початок наступного року. Україна боротиметься за власні інтереси, за справедливі інтереси кожної вільної нації. Бо, якщо ми себе можемо захищати, це посилює й усіх інших у світі, хто так само, як і ми в Україні, цінує свободу та міжнародний порядок», – сказав Зеленський у вечірньому відеозверненні.

Він відзначив, що і сьогодні було «багато міжнародної роботи», згадавши про зустрічі української делегації у США та свою онлайн-участь у засіданні лідерів «Групи семи» і відеовиступ на конференції у Вашингтоні, присвяченій оборонному виробництву.

Днями Зеленський казав, що Київ очікує важливих домовленостей з партнерами до кінця року. Він не уточнив, про які саме домовленості йдеться, лише додав, що у пріоритеті – «зміцнювати державу, захищати людей, додавати сили нашим позиціям – в усьому».

Обличчя ЗСУ. Фоторепортаж Радіо Свобода до Дня Збройних сил України

6 грудня — це день, коли в 1991 році український парламент ухвалив закон «Про Збройні сили України». Закон визначає ЗСУ як «військове формування, на яке відповідно до Конституції України покладається обов’язок обороняти України, захист її суверенітету, територіальної цілісності і недоторканності»

Британія оголосила нові санкції, які стосуються спроб Росії обійти та компенсувати вплив попередніх обмежень

Велика Британія оголошує про 46 нових санкцій проти окремих осіб і груп, які постачають і фінансують «військову машину» російського президента Володимира Путіна.

Як повідомляється на сайті британського уряду, нові обмеження стосуються компаній у Білорусі, Китаї, Сербії, Туреччині, ОАЕ та Узбекистані, які продовжують підтримувати незаконне вторгнення Росії в Україну.

«Включно з організаціями, що працюють у Китаї, Сербії та Узбекистані, Великобританія вжила заходів проти понад 30 організацій третіх країн, які підтримують військові дії Росії. Це свідчить про відсутність толерантності Великої Британії до тих, хто сприяє незаконній війні Росії, де б вони не були. Іноземні військові постачальники, які експортують обладнання та запчастини до Росії, є одними з десятків осіб і груп, проти яких сьогодні запроваджено санкції», – йдеться у заяві Управління закордонних справ Британії (FCDO)

Під нові обмеження Британії також потрапили «три суб’єкти, які підтримують мережу «Групи Вагнера», і чотири оператори суден так званого «тіньового флоту», які використовуються Росією для пом’якшення удару від санкцій, пов’язаних з нафтою.

«Сьогоднішні заходи порушать здатність Путіна озброювати свою армію через сторонні ланцюги поставок у Білорусі, Китаї, Сербії, Туреччині, ОАЕ та Узбекистані.Цей крок вдарить по Росії там, де їй боляче, і позбавить Путіна ресурсів, необхідних для його незаконної війни з Україною», – заявляють у британському уряді.

У повідомлення наголошується, що сьогоднішні санкції стосуються неодноразових спроб Росії обійти та компенсувати явний вплив санкцій Великобританії на її військові зусилля.

У серпні Велика Британія розпочала одну зі своїх найбільших акцій, націлених на російських військових постачальників, а минулого місяця вжила заходів, щоб зруйнувати таємну мережу закупівель, яку Росія використовує для придбання критично важливих західних технологій.


Atmospheric River Soaks Pacific Northwest With Record-Breaking Rain, Unusually Warm Temperatures

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued five people from flooded areas on Tuesday as an atmospheric river brought heavy rain, flooding and unseasonably warm temperatures to the Pacific Northwest.

The conditions also closed rail links, schools and roads in some areas and shattered daily rainfall and temperature records in Washington state.

In southwest Washington, a Coast Guard helicopter plucked a man from the roof of his truck in floodwaters near the hamlet of Rosburg and also rescued four people who were trapped in a house surrounded by 4 feet (1.2 meters) of water, a Coast Guard statement said.

Amtrak said that no passenger trains will be running between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, until Thursday because of a landslide. The National Weather Service issued flood warnings in parts of western Washington, including in areas north and east of Seattle and across a large swath of the Olympic Peninsula.

The wet conditions also brought warm temperatures to the region. At 64 degrees Fahrenheit (17.8 Celsius) in Walla Walla in southwestern Washington, it was as warm as parts of Florida and Mexico, according to the NWS. Seattle reported 59 F (15 C) at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, breaking its previous daily record high, the weather service said.

Atmospheric rivers, sometimes known as a “Pineapple Express” because the long and narrow bands of water vapor convey warm subtropical moisture across the Pacific from near Hawaii, delivered enormous amounts of rain and snow to California last winter.

On the Olympic Peninsula, the small town of Forks — whose claim to fame is being the rainiest town in the contiguous U.S. — saw its rainfall record for Dec. 4 more than double after it received about 3.8 inches (9.65 centimeters) of rain, the NWS said. By early Tuesday morning, it had recorded 4.7 inches (11.94 centimeters) of rain over 24 hours — more rainfall than Las Vegas has received in all of 2023, according to the agency.

About 100 miles (160 kilometers) farther south, the daily rainfall record for Dec. 4 was broken in Hoquiam, which received about 2.6 inches (6.6 centimeters) of rain on Monday, the NWS said. Seattle also set a new rainfall record for that date with 1.5 inches (3.81 centimeters), said Kirby Cook, science and operations officer at the NWS office in Seattle.

“We’ll continue to see significant impacts, especially with river crests and rises on area rivers” through Wednesday morning, he said.

A section of Washington State Route 106 was closed as rising water levels in the Skokomish River overflowed onto the roadway, state transportation officials said.

In Granite Falls, Washington, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Seattle, video posted on social media by Kira Mascorella showed water surrounding homes and flooding driveways and yards. Mascorella, who lives in nearby Arlington, said it was “pouring down rain” when she woke up Tuesday and was still raining hard late in the afternoon. She said she called out of work because of water on the roadways and wasn’t sure if they would be passable Wednesday.

In Monroe, Washington, fire and rescue crews reported bringing to safety four people and a dog who had been trapped in a park by swollen waters.

A landslide closed parts of a Seattle trail popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists, the city’s parks department said. Crews were assessing the damage to the Burke-Gilman Trail and working on setting up detour routes.

Heavy rains also battered Oregon. Parts of coastal U.S. Highway 101 were closed because of flooding, including in areas around Seaside and at the junctions with U.S. Route 26 and Oregon Route 6, the state’s transportation department said.

At least three school districts along the Oregon coast shuttered for the day because of flooding and road closures.

Officials have urged drivers to use caution, avoid deep water on roadways and expect delays.

Байден назвав «божевіллям» неспроможність Конгресу США підтримати допомогу Україні

Республіканці в Конгресі США не готові підтримати надання допомоги Україні, якщо не будуть враховані їхні пропозиції про зміцнення південного кордону Сполучених Штатів

Москва відкинула чергову пропозицію США про звільнення Вілана та Гершковича

Офіційний представник Держдепартаменту США Метью Міллер заявив, що Москва відхилила нову пропозицію про звільнення колишнього американського морського піхотинця Пола Вілана та журналіста The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Евана Гершковича.

За словами Міллера, останніми тижнями Вашингтон виступив з «новою і важливою» пропозицією, щоб домогтися звільнення Вілана та Гершковича. Вона не стосувалося інших затриманих у Росії американців. Але ця пропозиція була відкинута Москвою, передає Reuters та «Голос Америки».

Деталі, що саме пропонували США Росії, Міллер розкривати відмовився, зіславшись на таємницю переговорів.

Пол Вілан, бізнесмен і колишній морський піхотинець, який також має громадянство Ірландії, Великобританії та Канади, у грудні 2018 року був затриманий у московському готелі за звинуваченням у шпигунстві, яке Вілан відкидає. Його засудили у РФ до 16 років ув’язнення в червні 2020 року. 29 листопада він зазнав нападу з боку іншого ув’язненого в російській колонії, де відбуває покарання.

32-річного американського журналіста Евана Гершковича затримала ФСБ Росії за звинуваченням у шпигунстві 29 березня цього року року в Єкатеринбурзі, а наступного дня суд у Москві відправив його під арешт. Гершкович категорично заперечує свою провину і чекає суду в СІЗО.

Минулого тижня російський суд втретє вирішив продовжити термін попереднього ув’язнення американського журналіста до 30 січня. Посольство США в Москві заявило, що «глибоко стурбоване» рішенням суду.

Адміністрація президента США Джо Байдена заявила, що Вілан та Гершкович «є несправедливо затриманими» і звинувачення проти них необґрунтовані.