The year is coming to a close and the RSS feed is a bit light today, mostly recaps of news from the last few weeks, or recaps of the year. Here are some interesting elements from today, including a story about how China’s balloon used local ISP connections.
Chinese Spy Balloon Used U.S. Internet for Communications
Source: NBC News
NBC News reported that a Chinese spy balloon, part of a large military-linked aerial surveillance program, was able to transmit data back to Beijing in real time. This occurred despite efforts by the U.S. government to prevent such transmissions. The balloon, equipped to detect and collect intelligence signals, managed to gather information from several sensitive American military sites. The Biden administration had considered shooting down the balloon as it flew over the U.S., but ultimately did not do so until later. Additionally, U.S. intelligence officials revealed that the balloon used an American Internet Service Provider (ISP) for communication, mainly for navigation purposes. This claim was made despite the involved ISP denying that the balloon used its network. The identity of the ISP was not disclosed in the report.
The New York Times Files Copyright Lawsuit Against AI Tech Companies
The New York Times (NYT) filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging their AI models infringe on the newspaper’s intellectual property. The suit, a first of its kind from a major American media outlet, claims the AI models used millions of NYT articles to train chatbots that now compete as information sources. The lawsuit suggests billions of dollars in damages, accusing the defendants of freeriding on the NYT’s journalism investment. OpenAI expressed surprise and disappointment, noting ongoing, constructive conversations with the NYT.
Techdirt’s analysis highlights the lawsuit’s negotiating nature, with the NYT seeking fair value for its content used in AI technology. The article criticizes the lawsuit’s foundation, arguing that reading or processing data doesn’t necessarily implicate copyright. The piece also points out the paradox in the NYT’s argument, as the newspaper is known for summarizing other articles without credit. If the NYT wins, it could potentially face similar lawsuits. Techdirt further notes the lawsuit’s inconsistency, as it simultaneously criticizes GPT for being too accurate and not accurate enough in reproducing NYT content.
The lawsuit underscores broader tensions between media and big tech. Over 80 Spanish media organizations have filed a $600 million lawsuit against Meta for unfair competition. Some media companies, like the Associated Press and Axel Springer, have made deals with OpenAI, while others have installed blockers against AI content scraping. The NYT’s action is compared to the landmark lawsuit against Napster, suggesting a significant impact on the industry if successful.
Somehow I don’t think this lawsuit will result in anything positive, no matter who wins.
Security Takes a Backseat as CTOs and CIOs Lean Towards AI in 2024
Source: Help Net Security
A survey by Exclaimer reveals that in 2024, 35% of IT leaders will focus on reducing time spent on repetitive tasks, with 59% indicating that IT support consumes most of their time. Challenges faced in 2023 included new technology implementation (33%), hiring and retaining talent (33%), and lack of team collaboration (30%). For 2024, priorities include adopting AI (45%) and improving security (44%). Despite 46% of respondents being advanced in AI adoption, it hasn’t significantly reduced mundane IT tasks. Automation is progressing, with 49% automating over half of IT processes, aiding in focusing on strategic planning and upskilling. Security, though important, ranks lower for CTOs and CIOs compared to IT managers. Vicky Wills, CTO of Exclaimer, emphasizes balancing AI implementation with security, especially given that 40% of IT leaders reported at least two security breaches in the past year.
Using GenAI to automate tasks will be a big deal in 2024 and 2025, because the tools are just now coming online and will only get better.