Publishers Horrified at New Google AI Feature That Could Kill What's Left of Journalism

Hydraulic Press Google is infusing a new AI feature into its flagship search engine — and news publishers are aghast, CNN reports, because it sounds a lot like a death knell for any remaining traffic to media websites. This new feature, powered by Google’s Gemini AI model, will summarize answers to search queries as the top result for many queries, the tech behemoth announced yesterday, calling the feature AI Overviews. Though links will be included as part of the answers, they appear below the AI-generated summary answer — which seems like it will obviously reduce the number of users who actually click through to read primary sources like newspapers and magazines. In other words, this has the potential to be an extinction-level event akin to when an asteroid slammed into Mexico 66 million years ago, ending the reign of the journalism dinosaurs. “This will be catastrophic to our traffic, as marketed by Google to further satisfy user queries, leaving even less incentive to click through so that we can monetize our content,” News/Media Alliance chief executive Danielle Coffey told CNN. The News/Media Alliance, a trade organization that represents more than 2,200 news publishers, has been advocating for media amidst the AI boom. In 2022, it released a white paper on how Google harms the news industry. “The little traffic we get today will be further diminished, and with a dominant search engine that’s cementing its market power, we once again have to adhere to their terms,” Coffey told CNN. “This time…Publishers Horrified at New Google AI Feature That Could Kill What's Left of Journalism

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