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Adults in the Generative AI Rumpus Room: FOX, Federal Trade Commission

Adults in the Generative AI Rumpus Room: FOX, Federal Trade Commission

Introduction: Generative AI is widely considered the fastest moving technology innovation in history. It has captured the imagination of consumers and enterprises across the globe, spawning incredible innovation and along with it a mutating market ecosystem. Generative AI has also caused a copious amount of FOMO, missteps, and false starts. These are the classic signals of technology disruption—lots of innovation, but also lots of mistakes. It is a rumpus room with a lot of “kids” going wild. The rumpus room needs adults. Guidance through the generative AI minefield will come from thoughtful organizations who do not panic, who understand the fundamentals of AI, and who manage risk.

My picks for this week’s Adults In The Generative AI Rumpus Room are Fox Corporation and The Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Fox, Polygon Labs’ Verify Becomes Latest Deepfake Solution

The News: On January 9, Polygon announced that Fox Corporation will publicly release a beta version of Verify, an open source protocol meant to establish the history and origin of registered media. Verify is built on Polygon’s PoS protocol.

Here are the key details:

  • Publishers can register content on Verify to prove origination. Individual pieces of content are cryptographically signed onchain (Polygon PoS is based on blockchain technology) allowing consumers to identify content from trusted sources using the Verify tool.
  • Fox Corp launched a closed beta of Verify on August 23, coinciding with the first Fox News GOP debate. To date, 89,000 pieces of content, spanning text and images, have been signed to Verify, from Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Sports, and Fox TV affiliates.
  • The protocol source code is now open source.
  • Verify was developed in-house by Fox Technology and is built on the Polygon PoS protocol.
  • With this technology, readers will know for sure that an article or image that supposedly comes from a publisher in fact originated at the source.
  • Verify establishes a way for media companies to work with large language models (LLMs) and other AI platforms. Verified Access Point creates new commercial opportunities for content owners via “smart” contracts to set programmatic conditions for access to content.

Adults because… There is a growing movement to combat deepfakes and other malicious content from staying in circulation, from digital/crypto watermarking and tagged metadata to blockchain technology. This is in addition to content filtering, which does not necessarily discern AI content, just inappropriate content, leveraging both humans and AI (see Microsoft, Google). It will probably take all sorts of efforts and means to fight malicious AI-generated content; it will be interesting to see how Fox and others do with leveraging blockchain. The Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), led by Adobe, uses cryptographic asset hashing (watermark) for images and metadata. CAI members include big media companies: AP, BBC, Axel Springer, Gannett, NYT, Reuters, WSJ, and Washington Post, as well as other image vendors including Getty Images and Shutterstock.

Federal Trade Commission Bans Rite Aid from Using Facial Recognition

The News: On December 19, the FTC announced Rite Aid will be prohibited from using facial recognition for surveillance purposes for the next 5 years. The FTC says the company deployed AI facial recognition technology to identify customers who might have been engaged in shoplifting or other problematic behavior. The complaint charges that the company failed to take reasonable measures to prevent harm to consumers, who, as a result, were erroneously accused by employees of wrongdoing because facial recognition technology falsely flagged the consumers as matching someone who had previously been identified as a shoplifter or other troublemaker. The system generated thousands of false-positive matches, the FTC says. For example, the technology sometimes matched customers with people who had originally been enrolled in the database based on activity thousands of miles away or flagged the same person at dozens of different stores all across the US, according to the complaint.

FTC will require Rite Aid to implement safeguards to prevent harm to consumers when deploying automated systems that use biometric information to track them or flag them as security risks. It also will require Rite Aid to discontinue using any such technology if it cannot control potential risks to consumers. By failing to adequately oversee its service providers, Rite Aid will also be required to implement a robust information security program, which must be overseen by the company’s top executives. Read the FTC press release here.

Adults because… Facial recognition and other forms of biometric identification have been a PR problem for AI. The technology has traditionally suffered from bias challenges. Although this case looks at violations pre-dating the generative AI era, it is the first major corrective action by a US federal agency in the misuse of facial recognition. The FTC warned in May 2023 that it would be stepping up biometric surveillance policy enforcements.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Adults in the Generative AI Rumpus Room: AI Standards Hub, Google, Prompt Engineer Collective

Google Named Top Adult in the Generative AI Rumpus Room 2023

Adults in the Generative AI Rumpus Room: Anthropic, AWS, Meta

Author Information

Mark comes to The Futurum Group from Omdia’s Artificial Intelligence practice, where his focus was on natural language and AI use cases.

Previously, Mark worked as a consultant and analyst providing custom and syndicated qualitative market analysis with an emphasis on mobile technology and identifying trends and opportunities for companies like Syniverse and ABI Research. He has been cited by international media outlets including CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and CNET. Based in Tampa, Florida, Mark is a veteran market research analyst with 25 years of experience interpreting technology business and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida.

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