OpenAI Signs Axel Springer Deal To Offer News In ChatGPT

OpenAI signs deal with a global news publisher Axel Springer, so ChatGPT can deliver news summaries in response to user queries.

In one of the first major developments since the return of CEO Sam Altman to the fold, OpenAI announced that “Axel Springer is the first publishing house globally to partner with us on a deeper integration of journalism in AI technologies.”

The unprecedented deal comes as content owners including publishers, artists, authors etc consider legal action against firms offering popular AI tools for alleged copyright infringement.

Image credit: Levart Photographer/Unsplash

Axel Springer deal

OpenAI in its blog post said that Axel Springer is the first publishing house globally to partner with it, “to strengthen independent journalism in the age of artificial intelligence (AI).”

But the Axel Springer deal is actually the second agreement between OpenAI and a major news publisher. It should be remembered that in July OpenAI reached a deal with the Associated Press (AP).

That deal saw the AP licensing part of its archive of news stories to OpenAI, while the AP gained access to OpenAI’s technology and product expertise as part of the deal.

That AP was a more a back-end deal, whereas the Axel Springer deal will see current news and other content appearing in answers to people’s ChatGPT queries.

“This marks a significant step in both companies’ commitment to leverage AI for enhancing content experiences and creating new financial opportunities that support a sustainable future for journalism,” both firms stated.

The idea is that ChatGPT users around the world will receive summaries of selected global news content from Axel Springer’s media brands including Politico, Business Insider, and German publications such as Bild and Welt.

Those summaries will include material from stories, including breaking news, that would otherwise require subscriptions to read.

ChatGPT’s answers to user queries will include attribution and links to the full articles for transparency and further information. The Axel Springer content is expected to arrive on ChatGPT in the first quarter of 2024.

LLM training

The partnership also supports Axel Springer’s existing AI-driven ventures that build upon OpenAI’s technology.

And both firms said the deal also involves the use of content from Axel Springer media brands for advancing the training of OpenAI’s sophisticated large language models.

“We are excited to have shaped this global partnership between Axel Springer and OpenAI – the first of its kind,” said Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer. “We want to explore the opportunities of AI empowered journalism – to bring quality, societal relevance and the business model of journalism to the next level.”

“This partnership with Axel Springer will help provide people with new ways to access quality, real-time news content through our AI tools,” said Brad Lightcap, COO of OpenAI. “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.”

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the multi year deal.

The development comes after the European Union last Friday reached a provisional deal on landmark European Union rules governing the use of AI. The accord includes new transparency obligations for AI tools to reveal what material they use to train their models.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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