OpenAI and Axel Springer announce landmark deal that will bring news content to ChatGPT

Innovation

ChatGPT will soon summarize news articles from Politico, Business Insider and other Axel Springer-owned publications—and could include content otherwise available only to paid subscribers —in an unprecedented new agreement that could shape the future of journalism’s relationship with artificial intelligence.
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Key Takeaways
  • OpenAI and Germany-based publisher Axel Springer announced the deal Wednesday, and it will include all of Axel Springer’s media brands, which include Politico, Business Insider and European outlets Bild and Welt.
  • Under the agreement, OpenAI will pay Axel Springer for access to its news content, including some that is usually blocked by a paywall, which ChatGPT will be able to summarize in response to user queries with attribution and links to the full stories.
  • OpenAI will also be able to use Axel Springer news content to train ChatGPT, adding a knowledge base of vetted journalistic sources amid ongoing concern about AI’s ability to provide accurate, real-time information.
  • The companies say that the agreement will enhance the AI experience for customers while “creating new financial opportunities that support a sustainable future for journalism.”
What We Don’t Know

The companies have declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, but the Wall Street Journal reports it’s expected to generate substantial revenue for Axel Springer.

Key Background

The deal comes as publishers and creators grapple with concern over copyright infringement and compensation in the emerging field of artificial intelligence. Programs like ChatGPT must be fed a large amount of data—examples of written works, for instance—in order to learn and provide comprehensive text-based answers to user queries. But several authors, including George R.R. Martin, Jodi Picoult and John Grisham, recently sued OpenAI over its use of their books to train ChatGPT, arguing that as a result, the chatbot could create work that “is based on, mimics, summarizes or paraphrases their books.”

In response, OpenAI has said that it believes ChatGPT will ultimately be beneficial to creators, and that the company is “having productive conversations” with creators around the world to better understand concerns with AI. Media companies have been wrestling with similar questions, with hundreds of news outlets installing a blocker that prevents OpenAI from using their news content without permission, according to the Washington Post. But conversations between OpenAI and news publishers have continued behind the scenes. The latest deal follows a similar agreement that OpenAI signed with the Associated Press back in July.

Crucial Quote

“We are deeply committed to working with publishers and creators around the world and ensuring they benefit from advanced AI technology and new revenue models,” said Brad Lightcap, COO of OpenAI in a statement.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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