OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has entered into a three-year agreement with Axel Springer, the Berlin-based media giant, entailing a substantial financial commitment, likely in the tens of millions of euros.

This financial arrangement grants OpenAI the right to leverage Axel Springer’s news article repository and content to enhance its artificial intelligence (AI) systems.

The deal marks a collaboration between the San Francisco-based OpenAI and Axel Springer, providing ChatGPT access to content from various publications, including Politico and Business Insider.

The use of these resources will play a pivotal role in advancing OpenAI’s AI models, particularly in the development of conversational chatbots like ChatGPT, as disclosed in a joint statement released by both companies on Wednesday.

The partnership between OpenAI and Axel Springer follows a prolonged period of tension between news publishers and technology companies concerning the usage of their content for AI system training.

The demand for data, especially textual information, by OpenAI and its competitors has prompted concerns among publishers, authors, and artists who argue that their intellectual property is being exploited without adequate compensation.

While OpenAI remains discreet about the financial specifics of this deal, the company has previously engaged in similar agreements with news publishers. In July, the Associated Press announced its decision to allow OpenAI to license its archive of news stories for the development of AI models.

OpenAI also committed $5m to the American Journalism Project, an organisation dedicated to supporting local publishers in experimenting with AI applications in news reporting.

As part of the Axel Springer deal, the acquired news content will be employed to generate responses within ChatGPT, OpenAI’s widely-used AI chatbot. To ensure transparency, the responses will include proper attribution and links to the full articles, according to the joint statement from the companies.

However, amid the growing embrace of generative AI in the news sector, some publishers remain cautious, citing concerns over data collection and the technology’s susceptibility to producing fabricated content.

Certain European media outlets, such as Radio France, have opted to block OpenAI’s tools due to data collection apprehensions.

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