OpenAI signs landmark content deal with News Corp

23 May 2024

Image: © Sean K/Stock.adobe.com

The San Francisco-based AI company will now have access to content from leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Sunday Times.

OpenAI has announced a global partnership with News Corp, the multibillion-dollar news media organisation headquartered in New York.

As part of the deal announced yesterday (22 May), OpenAI has permission to display news content from several global publications owned by News Corp in response to questions prompted asked by users of its AI models.

The ultimate objective, OpenAI says, is to provide people with the ability to make informed choices based on reliable information and news sources.

Some of the titles OpenAI will have access to include: The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, Investor’s Business Daily, New York Post, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail, The Advertiser and Herald Sun.

“We believe an historic agreement will set new standards for veracity, for virtue and for value in the digital age,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp.

“We are delighted to have found principled partners in Sam Altman and his trusty, talented team who understand the commercial and social significance of journalists and journalism. This landmark accord is not an end, but the beginning of a beautiful friendship in which we are jointly committed to creating and delivering insight and integrity instantaneously.”

Other than providing news content, OpenAI said News Corp will also share “journalistic expertise” with the AI company to help ensure the highest journalism standards are present across its offering, which includes popular chatbot ChatGPT.

“Our partnership with News Corp is a proud moment for journalism and technology,” added Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI.

“We greatly value News Corp’s history as a leader in reporting breaking news around the world and are excited to enhance our users’ access to its high-quality reporting. Together, we are setting the foundation for a future where AI deeply respects, enhances and upholds the standards of world-class journalism.”

The AI company inked a similar deal with European news company Axel Springer late last year. That deal gave OpenAI access to news content from organisations including Politico and Business Insider.

OpenAI has found itself embroiled in controversy recently after many pointed out that one of its AI voices for GPT-4o, called Sky, sounds eerily like actor Scarlett Johansson from the 2013 film Her. Johansson has spoken out against the move and OpenAI has since rescinded the voice.

It has also had some internal turbulence after two veteran employees – Ilya Sutskever and Jan Leike – resigned from the company last week, prompting some OpenAI executives to defend the company’s methods. Sutskever was the company’s chief scientist, while both individuals co-led the company’s superalignment team focused on the safety of future AI systems.

Earlier this week, OpenAI was one of 16 leading tech companies that agreed to an expanded set of safety commitments relating to the development of AI at a global summit in Seoul, South Korea. The Frontier AI Safety Commitments built on the Bletchley Declaration that came out of a similar UK summit last year.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com