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OpenAI to Train Models on Associated Press News Content

BY Eric James Beyer

July 14, 2023

In the wake of news that OpenAI is being sued by a group of authors for copyright infringement and that the ChatGPT creator faces an investigation from the Federal Trade Commission, the AI research lab and The Associated Press (AP) have announced a collaborative agreement to explore the potential applications of generative AI in news products and services. The partnership will see the two organizations sharing select news content and technology, with OpenAI gaining access to select content from the publisher going back to 1985. 

Under the terms of the agreement, OpenAI will license a portion of AP’s text archive, while AP will receive access to OpenAI’s advanced technology and product expertise. The collaboration aims to responsibly create and use AI systems connected to media and the information economy.

A cautious approach to AI

The partnership is a continuation of AP’s nearly decade-long effort to integrate automation into its journalism. Despite its exploration of AI, AP has said that it maintains a cautious approach to generative AI, refraining from using it in news stories. OpenAI, however, will train its AI models on AP’s news stories for the next two years. This move is expected to improve the capabilities and usefulness of OpenAI’s systems, according to Brad Lightcap, Chief Operating Officer at OpenAI.

“OpenAI is committed to supporting the vital work of journalism, and we’re eager to learn from The Associated Press as they delve into how our AI models can have a positive impact on the news industry,” Lightcap said in the press release announcing the partnership. “The AP continues to be an industry leader in the use of AI; their feedback—along with access to their high-quality, factual text archive—will help to improve the capabilities and usefulness of OpenAI’s systems.”

Since 2014, AP has automated corporate earnings reports and sports event previews and recaps in an attempt to reduce time and energy costs for its reporters. The news organization also uses AI to assist in transcribing audio and video from live events.

Ethically utilizing AI in news media

Earlier this year, AP announced AI-powered projects that will publish Spanish-language news alerts and document public safety incidents in a Minnesota newspaper. The outlet also launched an AI search tool that’s supposed to make it easier for news partners to find photos and videos in its library based on “descriptive language.”

Kristin Heitmann, AP’s Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, expressed her enthusiasm for the partnership and underscored what it views as a steady and ethical approach to incorporating AI tools into the industry.

“Generative AI is a fast-moving space with tremendous implications for the news industry. 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,” Heitmann said.

“AP firmly supports a framework that will ensure intellectual property is protected and content creators are fairly compensated for their work. News organizations must have a seat at the table to ensure this happens so that newsrooms large and small can leverage this technology to benefit journalism.”

The development is significant in both its timing and its nature, as several lawsuits have emerged in recent months regarding the ethical and legal implications of training sets used in generative AI programs from Midjourney, Stability AI, and others.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4.

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