The Associated Press and OpenAI Ink Deal to Trade News Data for Generative AI Guidance

The Associated Press (AP) is opening its nearly two-century archive of news and information to OpenAI as part of a deal to explore potential applications for generative AI at the venerable news organization. The companies haven’t mentioned what kind of financial deal is involved but hastened to assure reporters and readers that this is not a way to make ChatGPT the sole journalist in the AP bullpen (at least not right now).


OpenAI’s interest in the AP and its vast archive is natural, considering how important the quantity and quality of data are for training a useful LLM. The AP is no stranger to news automation, having used technology for nearly a decade to produce basic earnings stories and sports recaps. But it views emergent generative AI models with cautious optimism. OpenAI seems an ideal partner to help AP tap into AI’s possibilities while avoiding its pitfalls.

“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,” AP chief revenue officer Kristin 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 AP and OpenAI don’t talk about generative AI taking away jobs from journalists. That said, they do seem to believe OpenAI’s models could help improve news coverage if applied thoughtfully, especially once the AP’s treasure trove of stories is fed into the LLM training database. The stated goal is more about improving the little pieces that are already automated, making them more efficient, and freeing resources for reporters covering bigger, more complex stories. The AP’s reporters will also provide feedback directly to OpenAI on how to develop AI that upholds journalistic ethics and standards. That might help OpenAI avoid further lawsuits over claims of copyright infringement with some of the data it uses to train its models.

“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,” OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap said. “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.”

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