OpenAI, Axel Springer strike deal to offer news in ChatGPT

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit in San Francisco on Nov. 16, 2023.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

OpenAI and Axel Springer, the global news publisher, have struck an unprecedented deal that allows ChatGPT to summarize news stories from outlets such as Politico and Business Insider, the companies announced Wednesday.

The news comes as publishers, artists, writers and technologists increasingly weigh or pursue legal action against companies behind popular generative artificial intelligence tools, including chatbots and image-generation models, for allegedly using their content or creations as training data. For instance, John Grisham, George R.R. Martin and other prominent authors sued OpenAI in September over alleged copyright infringement.

Once the OpenAI-Axel Springer deal goes into effect, when a user asks ChatGPT a question, it will respond with summaries of news articles from media outlets such as Politico, Business Insider, Bild and Welt. The chatbot will also include articles that would otherwise be limited to subscribers of those outlets, according to a release, and the answers will include “attribution and links to the full articles for transparency.”

The partnership follows a deal that OpenAI struck with the Associated Press in July, allowing it to license the AP’s news archive for training data.

As part of the agreement, Axel Springer will provide content from its media brands as training data for OpenAI’s large language models, such as GPT-4, the AI model that helps power ChatGPT.

The News Media Alliance, a trade group representing more than 2,200 publishers, released research in October suggesting that data sets used to train popular AI models rely “significantly” more on publisher content, outweighing it by a factor ranging from over five to almost 100, compared to generic web content.

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