The UK’s largest news organization, the BBC, has outlined its intended principles for assessing the application of generative AI across various aspects, such as journalism research, production, archiving, and tailored user experiences.
In a blog post, Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of Nations at the BBC, expressed the broadcaster’s belief in the potential of this technology to enhance its offerings to both the public and society at large.
These principles will serve as guiding values: firstly, the BBC will consistently act in the best interests of the public; secondly, it will prioritize creativity and talent while respecting artists’ rights; and thirdly, it commits to maintaining openness and transparency regarding AI-generated content.
BBC Strategic Approach to Generative AI
The BBC has announced its intention to collaborate with technology firms, fellow media entities, and regulatory bodies in order to responsibly advance generative AI technology, with a particular emphasis on upholding trust within the news industry.
“In the coming months, we will initiate several initiatives aimed at exploring the application of Generative AI in both our content creation and operational processes. Our approach will be targeted to gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved,” stated Davies in the blog post.
“These initiatives will assess how Generative AI might potentially enhance, complement, or even revolutionize various aspects of BBC operations, including journalism research and production, content discovery and archiving, as well as personalized user experiences.”
How News Outlets Approach Generative AI
Several other news organizations have also outlined their approaches to this technology. The Associated Press, for instance, issued its own guidelines earlier this year and established a partnership with OpenAI to utilize its stories for training GPT models.
However, while the BBC is in the process of determining the optimal use of generative AI, it has taken measures to block web crawlers from OpenAI and Common Crawl from accessing its websites.
This action aligns the BBC with CNN, The New York Times, Reuters, and several other news outlets that have similarly restricted web crawlers from accessing their copyrighted content. Davies explained that this decision is aimed at “protecting the interests of license fee payers” and that using BBC data for AI model training without permission is not in the public’s best interest.
The BBC’s strategic approach to generative AI reflects its commitment to harnessing technology for the benefit of its audiences and society while upholding key principles such as public interest, creativity, and transparency. As its collaborative initiatives explore AI’s potential, the BBC remains vigilant in safeguarding its content and maintaining the trust of its viewers.