Google is wrong to put AI search features behind paywall, says HPC leader

'A huge amount of responsibility to ensure that there is ethical management'

Interview You may have heard that Google is considering putting its latest AI search innovations behind a paywall, something that doesn't sit well with Rosanne Kincaid-Smith, COO at German HPC firm Northern Data Group. 

Kincaid-Smith told us in an interview that Google is in a different position than firms like OpenAI and others that are focused on building chatbots that are more of a novelty. Google, with its huge reach and influence, and dominance of the search market, should be making AI search innovations public. 

"My own view on the democratization of access and also the ethos that drives our business is around allowing access to the transformative technology that AI will bring, and that includes in search results," Kincaid-Smith told us in an interview.

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"Putting up a paywall to actually provide access to that premium information, which is ultimately what we want AI to deliver to actually drive societal advancement, doesn't sit well" with Kincaid-Smith, or the ethos of NDG, she said. 

While it might not seem like it at first glance, much of the discussion around putting AI search innovations behind a paywall comes down to matters of AI ethics and data governance, Kincaid-Smith explained - something she thinks Google is in a unique position to properly manage. Whether or not it has done so thus far notwithstanding, of course. 

"For companies like Google and the larger tech giants, there is certainly a huge amount of responsibility to ensure that there is ethical management [of AI]," Kincaid-Smith asserted.

"All of us in this space … have a direct responsibility to ensure that that is part and parcel of the package and the service that they are offering the public, not something that needs to be paid for." 

You can learn more about Kincaid-Smith's take on things like why bad search engine results can be tackled by properly-governed AI, how services should be offered, and what sort of promises the technology brings in the future, in the full video. ®

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