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OpenAI strikes ‘first of its kind’ deal with publisher Axel Springer to use its news content in ChatGPT

By Jon Passantino, CNN

New York (CNN) — OpenAI will pay publishing giant Axel Springer to use its news content in the company’s artificial intelligence products, marking a “first of its kind” global publishing deal that will allow the ChatGPT creator to train its AI models on the news organization’s reporting.

As part of the deal, ChatGPT users will receive summaries of news stories from Axel Springer’s brands, including Politico, Business Insider, Bild and Welt, with attribution and links to the original sources of reporting, the companies said Wednesday. The agreement will allow OpenAI’s models to take advantage of the publisher’s higher quality and more current information in its chatbots’ answers.

“We are excited to have shaped this global partnership between Axel Springer and OpenAI — the first of its kind,” Mathias Döpfner, chief executive of Axel Springer, said in a statement. “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.”

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“This partnership with Axel Springer will help provide people with new ways to access quality, real-time news content through our AI tool,” said Brad Lightcap, chief operating officer of OpenAI, in a statement. “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.”

Since ChatGPT took the world by storm last year, becoming one of the fastest growing consumer applications in history with an estimated 100 million active users, the chatbot has raised alarms over its promotion of misinformation, at times disseminating fake and false assertions in its responses.

A handful of online news outlets have also attempted to harness the nascent technology in their reporting, at times to disastrous results, resulting in embarrassing public corrections and apologies. Despite the early missteps, AI appears poised to upend the news and publishing industry.

The ChatGPT maker’s agreement with Axel Springer comes one day after The New York Times announced the creation of a new newsroom leader position focused on artificial intelligence initiatives, signaling the key role the rapidly advancing technology will play in news production.

Earlier this year, OpenAI also announced an agreement with The Associated Press to license the news collective’s reporting archive.

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