OpenAI Enters Multi-Million Euro Agreement with Axel Springer SE for News Content Usage

In a significant development, OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has committed to paying Axel Springer SE tens of millions of euros in a three-year deal granting access to the media giant’s news articles and content for the enhancement of its artificial intelligence systems.

The financial arrangement, although undisclosed, was confirmed by an insider familiar with the matter. The agreement allows OpenAI, headquartered in San Francisco, to utilize content from Axel Springer’s publications, including Politico, Business Insider, Bild, and Die Welt, to advance its AI models, as stated in a joint release issued by the companies on Wednesday.

This collaboration between OpenAI and Axel Springer follows a period marked by tensions between news publishers and tech entities concerning the use of content for AI system training. OpenAI and its counterparts require substantial data, including written material, to fuel conversational chatbots like ChatGPT. Content creators argue that their work is utilized without compensation to develop AI products that generate substantial profits for these companies.

OpenAI, backed by Microsoft Corp., has previously entered into agreements with news publishers. In July, the Associated Press announced it would allow OpenAI to license its news story archive for AI model development. Concurrently, OpenAI allocated $5 million to the American Journalism Project, supporting local publishers in experimenting with AI integration into news processes.

As part of the deal with Axel Springer, the news content will contribute to responses generated by ChatGPT. OpenAI ensures transparency by including attribution and links to the full articles. The goal, according to Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, is to explore the possibilities of AI-empowered journalism, aiming to elevate the quality, societal relevance, and business model of journalism to new heights.

Despite these advancements, some publishers remain cautious about embracing generative AI technology due to concerns about misinformation and data collection. Instances include Radio France blocking OpenAI’s tools over data privacy concerns and Le Figaro in France expressing reluctance to use generative AI in story creation.

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