Authentic Web

From its inception, everything we could browse on the Web — text, images, video — was created by human creativity and thought. Anything written or created had to pass a quality standard test we might call proof-of-work: you had to do the work (think, write, publish) to put content on the web.

In the last 12 months, that proof-of-work has been broken. You can now write entire blog posts and books with LLM like ChatGPT. Not surprisingly, an increasing amount of content on the web is now written by LLM — not by humans.

There is nothing wrong with AI content per se, the question is whether we want to know if an article was written by AI without being labeled as such. I prefer to know.

There’s a difference between someone who sits down for many hours and does the hard work of carefully crafting an article using their own thinking and creativity, and an article that’s automatically generated by an AI tool.

We are at a crossroads where it makes sense to think about how we can design a web for the AI age. How can we redesign the web to distinguish between authentic human-generated content and machine-generated content? I am against regulation, and creating a separate web just for humans sounds promising but impractical.

Perhaps we could use the proof-of-work required for human-created content to create an algorithm that confirms the authenticity of human-created content. Authors who created content using such software could then use a label that identifies their work as authentically human. Think of it like an organic food label.

I’m sure that closed publishing networks or sites will emerge that will place a unique label on authentically human content. It is time to design and launch them.


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