Taming A.I. Bots

April 2024
AI image meatgrinder
The A.I. Meatgrinder

In this current Wild West era of artificial intelligence, AI companies have simply assumed from the start that it's their digital Manifest Destiny right to treat the entire internet as fair game for training their models - copyright law be damned. Without any permission or license, AI bots scour the web to freely hoover up our words, photos, and artwork as training fodder - and what do we get out of it? Nothing, aside from our own photography and art and writing getting ever more drown out by infinitely derivative imagery and hollow content.

Until there's comprehensive global legislation reigning in this AI free-for-all (lol, don't hold your breath), this problem will only get worse for photographers, especially as AI imagery models rapidly become ever more photo-realistic.

In the meantime, one little thing we can do is to opt out of allowing AI bots to scrape our websites. I have added this option to the WideRange Admin, at Settings > AI Bots. There you can choose to disallow known AI bots from scraping your website content and images. What this technically does is it adds a bunch of rules to the "robots.txt" file of your website which specifically disallow about a dozen known AI bots from scraping your website. I will periodically update this block list with new known AI bots to block.

If you're concerned about your website images and writing being used to feed AI models, then this is at least a small first step to take.

Posted in Features and tagged AI.

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