AI is the big technology revolution of the decade. The great success of artificial intelligence models such as ChatGPT has prompted technology giants to get their act together and launch AI products. This is the case of Bard (Google), the new Bing (Microsoft) or LLaMA (Meta). But AI does not create itself.
In order for AIs to give you automatically generated responses that simulate human language, they need to be “trained”. This training consists of a huge amount of data (whether in the form of text, images, sounds or videos, depending on the language model) whose provenance is sometimes (or rather most of the time) not entirely clear.
One of the most repeated accusations is that many artificial language models use messages from users on public websites and social networks in order to train themselves and provide better results. This dubious origin is what has led, among other reasons, to the blocking of ChatGPT in Italy and the investigation of OpenAI, the company behind this AI, in Canada.
Now, in order to prevent this type of use, Reddit has updated its API conditions. The Internet’s so-called “forum of forums” will basically prevent artificial language models from using content found on the web for training and will request a special license from companies that use the API for these purposes.
Reddit’s API, which has always been free and open source, allows Internet developers to create any type of app or utility that works with the web, such as extensions, browser clients or other software. While it will remain free for developers of moderation tools, or who use Reddit in research or educational settings, it will no longer be free for all other companies.
“No other rights or licenses are granted or implied, including any right to use user content for other purposes, such as to train a machine learning or AI model, without the express permission of the relevant user content rights holders,” Reddit explains in the updated API terms and conditions.
The new terms and conditions also detail that its commercial use will require express permission from the website, which will always be granted upon payment. For the time being, Reddit has not specified how much it will charge developers who want to use the API for, among other purposes, training artificial intelligences.
These new terms will come into force “after a 60-day notice period” after developers who make use of the API receive an official notification by email.
A change that will be of great importance both for Reddit, which will have a new source of funding (most of its revenue comes from advertising, including its API), and for AI developers, who will have to train their AIs through other sources or pay Reddit (where possible). Something very similar to the change made by Elon Musk at Twitter, where the API is no longer free.
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