If I asked you what the native business model for content is, you'd probably say either advertising or subscriptions. But I am starting to think that AI is to content what search engines are to browsers. Money machines.
I was emailing with my friend Lock a few weeks ago and we were talking a bit about my 2024 predictions post. I made reference to the section in that post about AI and litigation and said:
maybe we will get a settlement that makes all the big AIs pay 2/3 of their revenue to content companies and writers and we will have the native revenue model for media!
I was only half joking.
When the Hollywood writers went on strike, I suggested to all of my writer friends that they should be happy to let AIs write films and TV shows as long as they get paid to sit home and do nothing under the premise that the AIs were trained on their work and so they are due royalties.
I was only half joking about that too.
Most current AI systems have no economic model for creators... in the long run, we are still going to need an economic covenant between AI systems and content providers. Al will always need new data to stay up to date. The world evolves: tastes change, new genres emerge, things get invented. There will be new subjects to describe and represent. The people who create content that feeds AI systems will need to be compensated.
I could not agree more.
The only question is how this will come to be.
I think web3 is sitting on the answer.
Tune in tomorrow for more on this.