Content Aware media news: August 31, 2023

Published: 31 August 2023

GPP's event with AWS and Vercel Sept 2023

Content Aware this week: Events for your diary,   

Innovation and Excellence: Modern Media & Publishing Technology Masterclasses – sign up now!
Want insight into the best techniques and practices helping the most advanced media companies to succeed? Come to our event at Amazon’s London HQ to hear direct from publishing and technology industry leaders on matters as diverse as implementing all-new tech stacks into successful publishing operations, leveraging micro front-end technologies to do more with less, architecting for future growth from day one, and speeding the delivery pace of your entire organisation.

This special event in partnership with AWS and Vercel will be attended by publishing industry heavyweights with an emphasis on technology and product leadership, with ample time to mingle and compare notes: the goal of the day is to give priceless first-hand insight on publishing-specific usage of technology that works in the real world.

Remaining space is limited so attendance is first-come first-serve – please sign-up ASAP if interested.

Venue: Amazon HQ, 1 Principal Place, London, England, EC2A 2FA

Date/time: Monday September 18 2023, 12:30PM to 6:00PM BST


Future of Media Technology Conference – get there!
More event goodness for your diary: next Wednesday September 6 sees the return of the Future of Media Technology Conference in London, and we will again be there. Hosted in the centre of London, it brings together technology and publishing leaders to talk about the best ways both can help each other succeed.

We will be mingling so do say hello – but be sure to attend the talk by GPP customer The Daily Mail on supercharging product growth too! Topics under debate include Generative AI, how publishers use Live Reporting event coverage to boost retention and engagement, new audience metrics you should be looking at, improving newsroom productivity, future trends, podcast growth, and much more.

The event is followed immediately by the UKPG Future of Media Awards, celebrating some of the best innovators and success in publishing this year. The conference is ticketed, so check below for details. Hope to see you there.

Traffic signals for ChatGPT point down
As the hype train perpetually feeds itself for generative AI, actual data from 20 million users indicates that ChatGPT usage is declining and has been declining since May. If you follow these matters, an increasing number of people say it becomes less impressive the more you use it - a truth not unique to ChatGPT in the AI area - and it is at least dripping some water on the inferno of expectation. This comes as OpenAI launches a new enterprise package.

Major news sites: AI crawlers still mostly unblocked
A study of leading global news sites indicates the majority have yet to implement an AI bot/crawler block at the robots.txt level. Many publishers are waiting to see how the generative AI game plays out before deciding what to do which is understandable - yet some have gone full block mode as quickly as they could.

Other publishers and industry vs AI
In a similar theme UK Press Gazette’s Charlotte Tobitt’s excellent overview looks at other publisher policies on AI exploitation/co-operation, and also at the recently outlined position of the UK industry body the PPA – which has called on UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to make clear the obligations towards content creators and owners that AI companies should be working under.

Google doesn't care much about your URL
URLs and the words in them can ignite debate among SEO experts akin to socks and sandals or milk first in tea. Turns out – it’s a fuss over nothing. Google uses URLs as "identifiers" only and doesn't care about what is specifically in the URL such as the word order, according to the search giant's John Mueller.

Yahoo rising
After being out cold on the commercial canvas for years, Yahoo is on an acquisition spree as part of a slow and steady growth strategy under new ownership. Remember AOL? According to Axios sources it still generates "hundreds of millions of dollars of free cash flow". Not sure they still send free CD-ROMs to everyone though.

Social media managers don't have it easy
Dealing with the rancorous general public while attempting to be positive and enhancing your brand's profile can be exhausting work. So why are social media teams generally so small?

Headline here please - whatever Musk says
French publishers are taking issue with the news that Elon Musk wants X to remove headlines from the display "cards" that shared content on the platform appears in. The EU's copyright directive will be the vehicle of their legal fury.

Indelible think
Google's DeepMind unit has produced SynthID, a watermarking system for images that is invisible to humans but can be picked up by a dedicated AI detection tool. According to DeepMind CEO Demis Hasabiss, such a system could become an industry-standard tool and help guard against deep-fakery and other more mundane issues with generative AI images. 

Fungimentally stupid

Generative AI is being used to produce books on all sorts of things – including wild mushroom foraging. Wild mushroom foraging is a potentially lethal venture which can have fatal consequences unless you know exactly what you are looking for, so trusting in the instruction of a load of derivative mush culled from original works seems like a very bad idea.

Move fast and break things - except complaints
The glacial pace at which Meta's Oversight Board deals with serious and consequential issues which have been brought to its attention is notably different to how the publishing world is supposed to behave, and also which territory brings the complaint. Is it one rule for rich countries, and another for poorer ones?

“We’re all doomed!”
Think technofear is a modern phenomenon? Hardly. In the 1880s US railroad magnate Jay Gould promised to "complete the work of girdling the earth with the electric wire" to grow his fancy new telegraph business, terrifying those who predicted a disastrous effect on the planet's "electric currents”. The more things change, the more they remain the same, as this fascinating read outlines.