OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, collaborates with AP to acquire news stories licensing

NEW YORK (AP) — ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and The Associated Press announced on Thursday that OpenAI will be licensing AP’s archive of news stories. The joint statement from the two organizations stated, “The arrangement sees OpenAI licensing part of AP’s text archive, while AP will leverage OpenAI’s technology and product expertise.”

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

To enhance their AI systems, such as large language models, OpenAI and other technology companies need to process large volumes of written works like books, news articles, and social media content. The introduction of ChatGPT last year has led to a surge in “generative AI” products that can generate new text passages, images, and other media.

However, concerns have been raised about the potential for these tools to generate false information that can be difficult to identify due to their strong grasp of grammar and human language. Furthermore, questions have been raised regarding the compensation of news organizations and content creators whose works were used to “train” the AI models.

In addition to news organizations, authors have also sought compensation for their literary works being utilized to train AI systems. A letter signed by over 4,000 writers, including Nora Roberts, Margaret Atwood, Louise Erdrich, and Jodi Picoult, was sent to the CEOs of OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, Meta, and other AI developers, accusing them of exploitative practices in creating chatbots that “mimic and regurgitate” their language, style, and ideas. OpenAI has also faced copyright infringement lawsuits from novelists and comedian Sarah Silverman.

In response, Kristin Heitmann, AP senior vice president and chief revenue officer, stated, “We are pleased that OpenAI recognizes that fact-based, nonpartisan news content is essential to this evolving technology, and that they respect the value of our intellectual property. AP firmly supports a framework that will ensure intellectual property is protected and content creators are fairly compensated for their work.”

Both companies are now exploring “potential use cases for generative AI in news products and services,” although specific details were not provided. The joint statement emphasized that both OpenAI and AP believe in the responsible development and use of AI systems.

The agreement with AP is particularly valuable to OpenAI as it provides a valuable resource for training its AI systems and serves as protection against potential material access challenges resulting from lawsuits, according to Nick Diakopoulos, a professor of communications studies and computer science at Northwestern University.

Diakopoulos stated, “In order to guard against how the courts may decide, maybe you want to go out and sign licensing deals so you’re guaranteed legal access to the material you’ll need.”

While the AP currently doesn’t employ generative AI in its news stories, it has been using other forms of AI for almost a decade, including automating corporate earnings reports and summarizing certain sporting events. The AP also offers a program that helps local news organizations integrate AI into their operations and recently launched an AI-powered image archive search.


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