Artificial Intelligence could destroy independent news publishers in the UK and may represent an ‘existential threat to democracy’, the executive chairman of The Daily Mail’s owner has warned.

Lord Rothermere accused tech firms of ‘ripping off’ news articles written by journalists from his DMGT media group to train their AI models.

The tech companies were then repurposing the content, which was taken without permission, to turn a profit, he said.

Crucially, they were doing so without any consideration for the consequences or responsibility for the ‘efficacy’ of the content, he warned.

Lord Rothermere (pictured), the executive chairman of The Daily Mail's owner, accused tech firms of 'ripping off' news articles written by journalists from his DMGT media group to train their AI models

Lord Rothermere (pictured), the executive chairman of The Daily Mail's owner, accused tech firms of 'ripping off' news articles written by journalists from his DMGT media group to train their AI models

Lord Rothermere (pictured), the executive chairman of The Daily Mail’s owner, accused tech firms of ‘ripping off’ news articles written by journalists from his DMGT media group to train their AI models

Artificial Intelligence could destroy independent news publishers in the UK and may represent an 'existential threat to democracy', Lord Rothermere warned

Artificial Intelligence could destroy independent news publishers in the UK and may represent an 'existential threat to democracy', Lord Rothermere warned

Artificial Intelligence could destroy independent news publishers in the UK and may represent an ‘existential threat to democracy’, Lord Rothermere 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 consequences to this technology. And it’s not just the danger of ripping [the newspaper] industry apart, but also ripping other industries apart, all the creative industries.

‘How many jobs are going to be lost? What’s the damage to the economy going to be if these rapacious organisations can continue to operate without any legal ramifications?

‘This all needs level heads. The danger here is that these huge platforms end up in an arms race with each other.

‘They’re like elephants fighting and then everybody else is like mice that get stamped on without them even realising the consequences of their actions.’

Lord Rothermere revealed that DMGT was considering taking legal action against the AI firms, who he claimed had trained their models using what is known as the ‘CNN/DailyMail Dataset’ – a database containing hundreds of thousands of news articles written by journalists at The Daily Mail and US news network CNN.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (left) shakes hands with X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk after an in-conversation event in London on November 2 following the UK AI Safety Summit

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (left) shakes hands with X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk after an in-conversation event in London on November 2 following the UK AI Safety Summit

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (left) shakes hands with X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk after an in-conversation 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 more quickly – but found it took them longer to check the accuracy of the article produced by the technology than it would have done to write it themselves.

He also criticised the dominance of the BBC in the UK’s media market.

Lord Rothermere said: ‘The BBC is by far the biggest media organisation in the UK.

‘It’s free. People love it. You can’t begrudge them that.

‘But it’s almost like competition law applies to everyone but the BBC.

‘The BBC can rampage where it wants and do what it wants because it’s a perfect organisation and that somehow we’re all compromised.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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