ChatGPT’s latest update fuels publishers’ concerns about AI chatbots siphoning traffic

The recent update of ChatGPT, the popular AI chatbot tool developed by OpenAI, has sparked a new wave of worries among publishers and journalists, who fear that the tool could reduce their online traffic and revenue. ChatGPT, which can generate realistic and coherent texts based on user prompts, has added a new feature that allows users to ask questions and get answers from the tool, without having to click on any links or visit any websites.

How ChatGPT works

ChatGPT is a generative pre-trained transformer model, which means that it has been trained on a large corpus of text data from the internet, such as Wikipedia articles, news stories, books, blogs, and social media posts. The model learns the patterns and structures of natural language from this data, and can use it to generate new texts that are relevant and consistent with the given input.

ChatGPT’s latest update fuels publishers’ concerns about AI chatbots siphoning traffic
ChatGPT’s latest update fuels publishers’ concerns about AI chatbots siphoning traffic

The tool can be used for various purposes, such as writing essays, stories, songs, poems, code, or even tweets. Users can also use the tool to chat with it, by typing in messages and getting responses from the chatbot. The latest update of ChatGPT has added a new functionality that allows users to ask questions and get answers from the chatbot, by using a special syntax. For example, if a user types in “Q: Who is the president of France?”, the chatbot will reply with “A: Emmanuel Macron”.

Why publishers are concerned

The new feature of ChatGPT poses a serious threat to publishers and journalists, who rely on online traffic and advertising revenue to sustain their businesses. By providing answers to users’ questions directly from the chatbot, ChatGPT eliminates the need for users to click on links or visit websites that contain the information they are looking for. This could result in a significant loss of traffic and revenue for publishers, who invest time and resources in creating high-quality and original content.

Moreover, the source and accuracy of the information provided by ChatGPT is not transparent or verifiable. The chatbot does not cite or link to any sources for its answers, which could lead to misinformation and confusion among users. The chatbot could also generate false or biased information, based on the data it has been trained on or the input it receives from users. For example, if a user asks “Q: Is climate change real?”, the chatbot could reply with “A: No, it is a hoax” or “A: Yes, it is caused by human activities”, depending on the data it has learned from or the user’s preferences.

How publishers can respond

Publishers and journalists need to adapt to the changing landscape of online information and communication, and find ways to compete with AI chatbots like ChatGPT. Some possible strategies are:

  • Creating more engaging and interactive content that attracts and retains users’ attention, such as videos, podcasts, quizzes, polls, or live chats.
  • Providing more value-added and in-depth content that offers insights and analysis that cannot be easily generated by AI chatbots, such as investigative reports, opinion pieces, or expert interviews.
  • Building trust and credibility with users by ensuring that their content is accurate, reliable, and transparent, and by providing clear sources and references for their information.
  • Leveraging social media platforms and networks to promote their content and reach out to their audiences, and encouraging users to share and comment on their content.
  • Collaborating with other publishers and journalists to create alliances and partnerships that can enhance their visibility and influence online.

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