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AI and the web

Posted on:June 27, 2023 at 03:22 PM

The Verge’s senior reporter James Vincent penned a bold headline: AI is killing the old web, and the new web struggles to be born.

In his article, he discussed how artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the web. AI language models and chatbots can generate content cheaply but at a lower quality. This means that AI will remake the web as we know it, from Google Search to Wikipedia and more.

For example, Google is remaking search by placing AI-generated answers ahead of data sources. This has led to some tension with sites like Reddit, which are seeing their data scraped by AI firms. Reddit is considering increasing the charges for API access in response.

Wikipedia is also facing challenges from AI. The company’s information has long been repurposed by Google to furnish “knowledge panels,” and in recent years, the search giant has started paying for this information. However, Wikipedia’s moderators are debating how to use newly capable AI language models to write articles for the site itself.

The writer concludes by discussing the potential risks of AI-generated content. These risks include the spread of misinformation and the lowering of overall quality. However, the article also notes that AI has the potential to improve the web in many ways, such as by making it more accessible and informative.

It highlights both the risks and the opportunities that AI presents, and it suggests that the web is likely to undergo significant changes in the years to come.

I find his conclusion interesting. He wrote that: “Really, the changes AI is currently causing are just the latest in a long struggle in the web’s history. Essentially, this is a battle over information — over who makes it, how you access it, and who gets paid. But just because the fight is familiar doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter, nor does it guarantee the system that follows will be better than what we have now. The new web is struggling to be born, and the decisions we make now will shape how it grows.”

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