No Free Training: Tell Google Bard to Kick Rocks
October 04, 2023
1 min 55 sec read
Did you know AI is always creeping around in the background, accessing websites and using the information it finds as training material?
This might not bother most folks, but some might take offense. After all, why is it our job to help feed the machine that wants to take over mankind?
So, if you're one of those who want to strike down AI every chance you get, or at least make it more difficult for AI to do its job, Google's doing its part to help.
One of the biggest issues with large language machine-learning models is that they rely on little treasures they find scattered around the Internet to make them powerful and all-knowing. Those nuggets of information are mined and used without consent, usually without the knowledge of the "owner" of the content.
Kind of creepy, isn't it, to know that those entitled AI are busy making themselves smarter using your information as they see fit?
It's getting easier now, though, with many new opt-out mechanisms available from Open AI and some other AI companies that previously cherry-picked your website without permission.
And now, according to the Android Police, we can add Google to the list of companies making it easier for us to "just say no" to AI
by providing a way for website owners to opt out of Bard without opting out of Google Search all the way around. That means you can tell Bard to kick rocks.
The truth, however, is a little more sinister. What really happened leading up to this generous offering on Google's part is that they've been using their unmonitored access to web data for a while now, only asking for your consent "after the fact."
Let's face it, they've already gotten what they need and these new steps are just to make it look like ethical data collection.
So now, with an update to web publisher controls, Google is giving us a standalone generative AI web crawler called "Google-Extended."
With the standalone product available, all of us web publishers who aren't willing to share our goodies with Google can opt out of Google running the crawler on their websites.
Like other crawlers, it uses the robots.txt on a website to decide which pages it can visit, which means web publishers can use the tool to stop it from visiting and using their sites.
Here's the good news. Publishers used to only be able to opt out of Google's crawler across the board, meaning you'd lose out on some search result advantages.
Now, however, you can pick and choose what you want to exclude, which means telling AI to get lost without losing points with Google.
The bottom line: if you don't want to be a part of feeding AI information that will help it take over the world, now you have the opportunity to lock your doors when it comes calling.
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