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The Clash of Titans: Top Websites Block Google’s AI, Raising Concerns Over Traditional Web Traffic Distribution

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In a bold move, several premier websites have taken a stand against Alphabet Inc.โ€™s tech behemoth, Google, by blocking its access to their content for AI model training. This defensive maneuver reflects a growing unease over the perceived threat that AI models pose to the long-standing system of web traffic distribution.

The New York Times, entangled in a copyright dispute with ChatGPTโ€™s parent company, OpenAI, has joined the fray by enabling the Google-Extended blocker. This decision extends to limiting OpenAIโ€™s data access from its platform. Rounding out the cohort are heavyweights like CNN, BBC, Yelp, and Business Insider.

While these giants have wielded the Google-Extended tool, statistics from Originality.ai reveal a lukewarm adoption rate, with merely 10% of the top 1,000 websites embracing this defensive mechanism. In contrast, OpenAIโ€™s GPTBot enjoys a more robust presence on approximately 32% of these elite websites.

Originality.aiโ€™s CEO, Jonathan Gillham, opined on the tepid reception of Google-Extended, citing the inherent risk of exclusion from AI-generated results if websites bar Googleโ€™s access to their data. In his example, a pizza shop that withholds data access could miss out on being featured in Googleโ€™s responses to customer inquiries about the best deep-dish pizza in Chicago.

This wave of resistance from top-tier websites underscores mounting apprehensions regarding the ramifications of AI models on conventional web traffic patterns. The Atlantic previously voiced concerns about Googleโ€™s AI-enhanced search potentially providing direct answers to user queries, thus diminishing the imperative for users to patronize external websitesโ€”potentially translating to a substantial traffic slump for content creators like The Atlantic, heavily reliant on Google for 40% of their web traffic.

Beyond individual skirmishes, the spat between The New York Times and OpenAI represents a microcosm of broader industry discord. Recently, tensions escalated when Elon Musk accused OpenAI of wholesale pilfering, levelling accusations of data misappropriation concerning OpenAIโ€™s AI flagship, Sora.

Photo: Courtesy Jonny Gios via Unsplash

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Get a chuckle as Edward Snowden teases AI skeptics: โ€˜Your Printer Doesnโ€™t Workโ€™ And Google Canโ€™t Find Taco Bell, Yet Youโ€™re Worried About Extermination.

This content underwent refinement with the assistance of Benzinga Neuro and underwent a meticulous review by Benzinga editors before publication.

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