Protecting and empowering creators through historic changes caused by AI

Michael Michael Sanchez

We stand on the brink of a revolution that will reshape our world. A once-in-a-lifetime moment. Once in a millennium, perhaps.

During the Renaissance, human reason became the primary driver of history. Today, machines are acquiring intelligence at the scale and ability of human minds—fundamentally altering a paradigm that has stood unchallenged for hundreds of years.

AI will radically transform the ways information is created and shared, how we communicate with each other, and ultimately, how all of society functions.

AI + content creators: Two possible futures

While AI will shape every part of our culture, our focus is on the creators and publishers of the world who stand at the cusp of two very real, very possible futures.

The decisions AI companies and search platforms, policymakers and courts, advertisers and ad agencies make in the immediate future and the principles they embrace will set the course of the next chapter in history.

Disruption brings existential threats to the digital media ecosystem

Today, we live in a moment in history where people can make a living sharing their creative works with the world. Creators, writers, artists, and publishers alike: the tidal wave of generative AI threatens processes and pathways to the content we’ve all come to trust and love.

In this future, cheap, soulless content crowds out authentic, trusted voices. Traffic to owned and monetized websites decreases due to new, generative search experiences. Creators and publishers aren’t able to adapt and grow in the new online landscape, and hundreds of thousands of jobs are jeopardized because the existing financial model of digital media is no longer viable.

But disruption also brings new, transformative opportunities

There is a second future where content creators become the most trusted, vital cornerstone of the web—an essential mover and shaker in the next generation of digital media.

In this world, creators and publishers embrace AI in authentic ways, using this powerful technology to grow strategically, build trust, and continue to make the online world a richer, more human place through the content they create.

AI companies, search platforms, and policymakers carefully consider any impact on creators.

Audiences have confidence in their content because they know when content is created by real people just like them.

Advertisers and agencies put their money where their consumers’ attention is.

And trusted intelligence, not artificial intelligence, becomes more valuable than ever.

AI + content creators: Core principles

To reach this future, we believe that a few core principles related to creators should guide all stakeholders—AI companies and search platforms, advertisers and ad agencies, regulators and policymakers—as they make foundational decisions that will impact creators for decades to come.

  1. We must preserve trust. In a world where trust in every sector and institution is at a historic low, AI threatens to make this even worse. Content creators serve a uniquely valuable role in our society as experts and authorities trusted by billions of people around the world. Great content that informs and engages readers is the cornerstone of a healthy media ecosystem, and it is vital to preserve this trust—and trusted voices—through these changes.
  2. Content creators deserve control and compensation. AI platforms are trained on content they did not create and will use it to disrupt the livelihoods of those who did. Creators own their work. Creators have the right to control the use of their content, voice, image, likeness, and other intellectual property and should be compensated for its agreed-upon use.
  3. Content creators’ interests must be a central consideration. Key stakeholders and decision-makers, ranging from AI companies and search platforms, regulators and policymakers, to advertisers and agencies, must consider the impact on creators and publishers in all foundational decisions that shape our AI future.

AI is here to stay.

Whether that statement fills you with excitement, fear, or a healthy combination of the two, there is no turning back the clock. Join us in shaping the future of AI. Let’s preserve trust, empower creators, and consider the future of trusted content creation as we build a better digital world together.

Raptive’s AI approach

Our mission is to protect and empower creators through historic changes caused by AI.

We’ve been using AI for years to build products that support our creators, publishers, and advertisers. Now, we are organizing our company and efforts around the next phase of the AI future.

1. We’re embracing ethical AI to build solutions that serve creators and publishers

As early adopters of AI’s potential to help content creators work smarter, not harder, we’ve been using GPT technology for years. Our existing AI-driven tools assist with keyword research and competitive SEO today, and we see endless potential to continue testing and building things that do the boring, time-consuming, behind-the-scenes tasks so creators can focus energy and creativity where it matters most.

Now, we’re working on new ways to help you be more efficient, move faster, provide more value to your readers, and scale your ability to engage with your audiences in exciting new ways. Let’s merge the power of AI with your unique voice and perspective to extend your reach.

This might look like “CreatorBot,” the customized chatbot prototype we’re testing with a few creators. It marries generative AI with a semantic index of a creator’s own content to engage with site visitors, answer questions, and provide recommendations using the creator’s expertise, voice, and tone. This type of experience could increase engagement with your content, driving up pageviews per visit.

Animated gif shows a user interacting with "Creator Bot" on the site Pinch of Yum. They ask the bot to recommend a chicken dish and then a substitute ingredient. The bot answers in a style that sounds like the Pinch of Yum brand and recommends Pinch of Yum content.

It might look like “Write Like Me,” another feature we’re currently developing to tackle the pain point of bringing new writers or freelancers on board and training them to emulate your brand’s voice and style. Merged with Topic’s Content Optimization framework, AI can help you produce more high-quality content that reinforces the value of your brand.

Animated gif showing a user editing content within the Topic interface. They select a paragraph of generic-sounding content, then select the "Rewrite Like Me" feature, which suggests updates to the content to sound more like the creator's established voice.

Or it might look like any of the dozens of opportunities we’re exploring that span every element of creators’ businesses, from data interpretation to increasing affiliate commerce revenue.

We’re testing a lot of things over the coming months. Some of them will deliver promising results, and some won’t, so these features may evolve or shift focus over time to meet the needs of creators, publishers, and their audiences in the best ways.

Through it all, we are committed to developing solutions that help blend your unique expertise and authority with the power of AI—giving audiences game-changing new experiences grounded in accuracy, authenticity, and quality and helping propel you further, faster.

2. We’re helping you grow strategically through training and education

We’re launching resources to help you take advantage of the potential of AI, stay on top of developments, and continue to grow in future-proof areas.

Coming soon, expect blog posts, newsletter content, and new courses in the Raptive-exclusive Resource Center covering three core areas:

  1. Translate. We’ll cover emerging news and trends in the world of AI so you can stay up to speed and understand how we’re thinking about this evolving landscape.
  2. Educate. We’ll give you specific ideas and tools to help you effectively use AI in your day-to-day and grow strategically in areas that will be less impacted by disruption—like alternatives to search traffic, ways to build additional revenue streams, and how to invest in other types of content like video.
  3. Activate. We’ll highlight steps you can take to protect your business and stand up for your rights as a content creator, like our ongoing NoAI initiative.

3. We’re advocating for creators’ interests

Yes, AI is here to stay, but that does not mean we need to resign ourselves to a world where your essential content and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of creators (and those who work with them) become casualties of the AI revolution.

In the coming months and years, new rules and policies about AI will set the stage for decades of transformation. Creator’s rights, voices, and interests must be fundamentally integrated into this decision-making process—and quickly.

We believe it’s critical to get the attention, focus, and partnership of key stakeholders, and we’re committed to advocating on behalf of creators through these historic changes.

Get involved

As a first step, we’ve drafted an open letter and call to action that reflects our core principles and marks the kickoff of our broader advocacy efforts on behalf of content creators.

We encourage all creators to sign this letter. The more creators who put their voices behind this, the more likely we are to have an impact on all of our stakeholders, so we will invite all creators to join in this groundswell of support.

We’ll be connecting with leaders across the industry, including AI companies, search platforms, advertisers, and ad agencies, and this collection of core principles and creator stories will serve as a powerful, united statement of creators’ interests.

What comes next:

  • Protecting your content rights. We’re exploring the most impactful strategy to help protect your content rights and the best ways for you to communicate these rights. The concept of a “noAI” signal is a start. We’re continuing to look for other ways to ensure you’re able to control your content and seek compensation for its agreed-upon use.
  • Mapping the global legal landscape. We’re working with leading law firms to understand the global legal and regulatory landscape around AI to ensure your interests are taken into account in the US, Europe, and across the globe.
  • Sharing your stories. There are so many ways we can amplify the stories of unique, amazing, independent creators and the irreplaceable value of your trusted, human content with all of these stakeholders, including advertisers and your audiences. Our strategies will develop and adapt over time, but armed with your stories and our commitment to seeing you thrive through epic change, we will engage with the key players that will help shape creators’ collective future.

As we navigate these uncharted waters, we look forward to working closely with you every step of the way. Stay tuned for more on how you can participate!

We are at a defining moment in history, facing very real threats—and an extraordinary opportunity. Those who waste this opportunity are going to be left behind.

At Raptive, we are forging the path that allows the most authentic voices with the deepest audience connections to take their place at the center of the next chapter of the internet.

Creators are the future of media. Together, the future is ours to create. And we can harness the epic, disruptive power of AI to get there faster and stronger than ever.