Fox Corp. developed the Verify technical protocol, which aims to enable media companies to register content and grant usage rights to AI platforms, while also enabling users to confirm the authenticity of the content. In the hopes that more people will sign up for the blockchain-based content verification system, the company is making Verify available to the public as an open-source project.
Fox made available to the public a beta version of the Verify Tool, the company’s first Verify application. This web-based solution allows users to verify images and article links they come across online that claim to be from Fox sources.
Some may find it ironic that Fox News’ parent company is making an effort to verify the veracity of its content, considering claims the cable network has been spreading lies on a regular basis. In order to resolve a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, which claimed Fox News had repeatedly and intentionally broadcast false statements regarding the voting company’s actions and influence over the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Fox News agreed to pay $787.5 million last year. Another voting technology company, Smartmatic, has filed a second defamation lawsuit against Fox, claiming at least $2.7 billion in damages.
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With the development of potent artificial intelligence technologies, Fox Corp. recognizes the necessity of safeguarding its intellectual property. Melody Hildebrandt, chief technology officer of Fox Corp., stated, “We felt this was a moment to introduce a set of controls for how [Fox’s content] is utilized in this space, given the explosion of ChatGPT and OpenAI.”
On August 23, 2023, Fox launched an internal beta version of Verify in time for the first GOP primary debate on Fox News. Approximately 84,000 pieces of content, comprising both articles and images, have been signed onto the Verify content graph thus far. This content comes from Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Sports, and most recently Fox’s television stations. For its digital news and sports content, Fox is initially concentrating on text and images rather than episodic TV shows (such as “The Masked Singer” or “MasterChef”). This is part of Fox’s Verify project.
Hildebrandt claims that Verify uses cryptography to sign individual pieces of content on the blockchain, establishing the provenance and history of the content. This enables customers to independently confirm that the content comes from the publisher they expect. Through a verified content access point, the Verify system also builds a technological link between media companies and AI companies’ Large Language Models (LLMs). Hildebrandt stated that this could lead to new business prospects for content owners through programmatic access requirements.
Verify was created internally by the Fox Technology team in conjunction with Polygon Labs, utilizing the latter’s cutting-edge search and proof-of-work blockchain technologies. While Fox Corp. will maintain the core codebase, anyone can access and modify the Verify source code on GitHub and publish it back into the platform.
Verify not only authenticates online content but also offers AI platforms a technical means to license content datasets from various publishers so that widely used LLMs can receive real-time news and training data. Fox’s action on this front coincides with a number of legal disputes arising from purportedly unlawful use of copyrighted content to train LLMs, including a lawsuit brought by the New York Times against Microsoft and OpenAI.
According to Hildebrandt, Fox and other media companies can reduce the risk that their intellectual property (IP) will be used and commercialized by unaffiliated third-party platforms without authorization or payment by utilizing the blockchain certification and verification tools to safeguard their content and business models.
She declared, “We are AI optimists.” “We feel that our content should not be commercialized without our participation, but we also want to participate in this economy.”
In order to bring down the cost of content signing to almost nothing, Fox plans to release a second version of Verify in early 2024, moving from the Polygon public blockchain to an application-specific blockchain, according to Hildebrandt. The company stated that updates regarding third-party content providers’ plans to implement Verify—which are currently in the development stage—is anticipated.
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