The Bing Sting: Publishers Have Reason To Worry About Tool, Critic Warns

Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot interface is being hailed by as a breakthrough by some. But publishers may not have reason to like it.   

Built on OpenAI, the new interface “can sometimes provide a way to sidestep news websites’ paywalls, providing glossy conversational answers that draw on media content,” Wired writes. 

Case in point: “When Wired asked the Bing chatbot about the best dog beds according to The New York Times product review site Wirecutter, which is behind a metered paywall, it quickly reeled off the publication’s top three picks, with brief descriptions for each.”

Publishers are now weighting “whether to strike back at Microsoft,” Wired continues. 

The problem is this: “Unless there's a specific agreement in place, there's just really no revenue coming back to news publications. And it is highly problematic for our industry,” Danielle Coffey, executive vice president and general counsel at News Media Alliance, told Wired, whose parent Condé Nast belongs to the group. 



Absent this payment, the new Bing chatbot is “less than stellar for our taste,” Coffee added.  

Microsoft claims it has the best of intentions. But the situation bears watching, if you believe Wired.   

“As Google and others also prepare chatbots, their potential to sap traffic from media companies could add a new twist to their conflicts with tech platforms over how content appears on search engines and social feeds,” Wired writes.  

The full Wired article is here. 

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