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OpenAI will reportedly pay $250 million to put News Corp’s journalism in ChatGPT

OpenAI and News Corp, the owner of The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, The Sun, and more than a dozen other publishing brands, have struck a multi-year deal to display news from these publications in ChatGPT, News Corp announced on Wednesday. OpenAI will be able to access both current and well as archived content from News Corp’s publications and use the data to further train its AI models. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal, but a report in The Wall Street Journal estimated that News Corp would get $250 million over five years in cash and credits.

“The pact acknowledges that there is a premium for premium journalism,” News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson reportedly said in a memo to employees on Wednesday. “The digital age has been characterized by the dominance of distributors, often at the expense of creators, and many media companies have been swept away by a remorseless technological tide. The onus is now on us to make the most of this providential opportunity.”

Generative AI has exploded in popularity ever since OpenAI released ChatGPT at the end of 2022. But the quality of the responses provided by AI-powered chatbots is only as good as the data that is used to train the models that power it. So far, AI companies have trained their models by scraping publicly available data from the internet often without the consent of creators. But in recent times, they have been striking financial deals with the news industry to make sure that AI models can be trained on information that is current and authoritative. Over the last few months alone, OpenAI has announced partnerships with Reddit, the Financial Times, Dotdash Meredith, the Associated Press, German publisher Axel Springer, which owns Politico and Business Insider in the US and Bild and Die Welt in Germany, and Spain’s Prisa Media. Last month, News Corp also struck a deal reportedly between $5 and $6 million with Google to train its AI models, according to a report in The Information.

Google and OpenAI aren’t the only companies striking these deals to train their AI models. Hours before the News Corp announcement, Business Insider reported that Meta, which recently stuffed its own AI chatbot into Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, and also sells AI-powered sunglasses, was thinking about striking its own deals with news publishers to get access to training data.

Money from AI companies is increasingly a growing revenue source for a struggling news industry. But some publishers are still wary of striking these deals. The New York Times has sued OpenAI and Microsoft over using content for training AI systems. And the NYT, the BBC and The Verge have blocked OpenAI from scraping their websites.

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