Good Wednesday morning and greetings from H2O's GenAI Day Atlanta! I'm here for work and just finished out an amazing day. In this midweek briefing, we explore how Generative AI is forcing us to reevaluate things like copyright and jobs. From what I see happening in the AI marketplace, Gen AI is a "dinosaur-killing comet" and there will be structural changes happening in technology, the job market, and our broader economy going forward.
AI-generated George Carlin comedy special
The cash grab for anything Gen AI-related is happening in real-time. I have some serious issues with this, not because George Carlin was a great comedian, but because of copyright issues.
"We were not contacted by the company that has generated this AI product," the late comedian's daughter told Futurism in an email. "I believe they should take his name off of the product because it was not created or generated by him. The performer and author of this content is Dudesy, not George Carlin."
The Times sues OpenAI and Microsoft over A.I. use of copyrighted work
NY Times's lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft is coming on the heels of the George Carlin AI-generated comedy special. NY Times alleges that OpenAI used copyrighted material to build chat models.
"The suit does not include an exact monetary demand. But it says the defendants should be held responsible for “billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages” related to the “unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.” It also calls for the companies to destroy any chatbot models and training data that use copyrighted material from The Times."
Copyright is a strange animal but no matter how you feel about it, it does help both the "little" and "big" guy from being ripped off.
AI is coming for artists and animators
Speaking of being ripped off, here's another issue with Gen AI, the destruction of jobs. It's looking like the fears of Gen AI replacing a myriad of jobs were not unfounded. Just look at all the layoffs at Google and in Silicon Valley. Now creative animators and artists are in danger of being eliminated in a Gen AI world.
“I don’t know of an industry that will be more impacted than any aspect of media, entertainment, and creation,” the DreamWorks SKG co-founder said of the emerging technology, which was a centerpiece in both the writers and actors’ contract negotiations with studios. AI, streaming residuals, and a few other points kept the WGA and SAG-AFTRA on strikes against the AMPTP for more than 100 days apiece.
End of an era
Layoffs are running through the tech world right now and no one is safe. Google announced layoffs across its hardware, core engineering, and Google Assistant teams. These layoffs hit long time employees, who typically would be considered to be safe.
Kevin Bourrillion, a senior software engineer at Google, took to X, saying, “End of an era! After 19 years of working at @Google, with more than 16 of them on the team that I founded, I made the tough decision yesterday morning to finally bite the bullet and find out that I’d been laid off overnight.”
The moral of the story, no one is safe. Ever.
Infographic of the week
This week's infographic is an interesting look at median household income by race and ethnicity. I do caution against drawing inferences from this chart; there are always many variables that drive the final numbers.