July 16th, 2024

AI chatbots use Canadian news, but Ottawa won’t say if they should be paying for it

By The Canadian Press on June 17, 2024.

The federal government is dodging questions on whether or not tech giants should be paying Canadian news publishers for its content that AI chatbots are openly using. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in Zurich, Switzerland on Saturday, June 15, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – The federal government is dodging questions about whether AI companies should be paying Canadian news publishers for content their chatbots are openly using.

Last year the Liberal government passed the Online News Act, which requires tech companies to negotiate licensing agreements with news publishers to use their content.

AI chatbots are growing in popularity, with models like Microsoft’s ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini and Meta AI using Canadian news to either train or provide answers to users’ questions.

Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge’s office says it’s up to Canada’s broadcasting regulator to determine if AI services are reproducing news as defined in the law.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was recently asked on a New York Times technology podcast if the law should be expanded to encompass AI.

He evaded the question, saying the onus is on the platforms to act responsibly.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 17, 2024.

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