Is Google paying publishers to write content with artificial intelligence? It seems so

Was this the future? Because it makes you not want to go on.

Is Google paying publishers to write content with artificial intelligence? It seems so
Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

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Google has reached agreements with some publishers for them to use their new generative artificial intelligence tools in article writing.


The agreements, which apparently amount to tens of thousands of dollars per year, are part of the Google News Initiative (GNI), a six-year-old program that funds media literacy projects, fact-checking tools, and other resources for newsrooms.

However, transitioning to generative AI publishing tools would be a new and likely controversial step for the company.

What is AI used for and why does Google pay third parties to use it?

According to Adweek, the program is currently targeting a “handful” of small publishers. “The beta tools allow publishers with limited resources to create aggregated content more efficiently by indexing recently published reports and those generated by other organizations, such as government agencies and neighboring news media, and then summarizing and publishing them as a new article,” reports Adweek.

It is not clear how much exactly publishers are paid under the agreement, although Adweek says it is a “five-figure sum” per year. In return, the media commit to publishing at least three articles per day, a weekly newsletter, and a monthly marketing campaign using these tools.

Apparently, the editors participating in the program are not required to disclose their use of AI, nor are the aggregated websites informed that their content is being used to create AI-written articles on other sites.

However, the texts generated by AI use a color coding system to indicate the reliability of each section of the text and help human editors review the content before publishing it.

In a statement to Adweek, the company stated that it was “in the early stages of exploring ideas to potentially provide AI-based tools that help journalists in their work.”

The spokesperson added that AI tools “do not intend, nor can they, replace the essential role that journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles.”


It is not clear what Google gets out of this agreement, although it would not be the first technology company to pay newsrooms for using their own tools.

Although the GNI program may seem like a test, it is likely to spark new scrutiny over the use of generative AI tools by publishers. Publications like CNET and Sports Illustrated have been heavily criticized for attempting to pass off articles written by AI as articles written by humans.

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Journalist specialized in technology, entertainment and video games. Writing about what I'm passionate about (gadgets, games and movies) allows me to stay sane and wake up with a smile on my face when the alarm clock goes off. PS: this is not true 100% of the time.

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