OpenAI Pledges $5M to American Journalism Project and Supporting Local News
OpenAI will funnel $5 million to support local news reporting in a new partnership with the American Journalism Project (AJP) the Microsoft-backed startup said on Tuesday. The money, bolstered by an additional $5 million in credits for OpenAI products like ChatGPT, will fuel local newsroom experiments with leveraging generative AI and synthetic media engines to enhance local media coverage. The AJP is OpenAI’s second media collaboration in as many weeks after inking a licensing deal with the Associated Press to access some of its extensive archives and test potential uses for generative AI in the news media.
The AJP is a non-profit that works to raise and invest funds in local non-profit news organizations The’ venture philanthropy’ group has raised $139 million for its mission to to reignite the nearly extinct local news services of the U.S. The AJP has supported 41 non-profit newsrooms and opened four brand new ones since launching in 2019.
The AJP plans to start the partnership by setting up a studio dedicated to the partnership, where smaller news outlets can try out different ways of applying OpenAI’s models to their journalistic endeavors. Another chunk of change will be divided among approximately 10 member organizations to carry out their own generative AI funding will help create a studio that allows local news outlets to try out OpenAI’s technology. It will also distribute grants to around 10 of its portfolio organizations for their own AI trials. to pilot and test their own AI applications.
“To ensure local journalism remains an essential pillar of our democracy, we need to be smart about the potential powers and pitfalls of new technology,” American Journalism Project CEO Sarabeth Berman said. “In these early days of generative AI, we have the opportunity to ensure that local news organizations, and their communities, are involved in shaping its implications. With this partnership, we aim to promote ways for AI to enhance — rather than imperil — journalism.”
The pros and cons of generative AI for journalism are manifold. AI can analyze more data, faster and provide deeper insights than the traditional approach. Ther adaptability could also be a boon as they start to tailor and personalize the experience to the individual. There are corresponding worries about an AI making news judgments and coming off as prejudiced or hallucinating wildly incorrect responses, as vividly demonstrated by Gizmodo and its Gizmodo Bot.
“We proudly support the American Journalism Project’s mission to strengthen our democracy by rebuilding the country’s local news sector. This collaboration underscores our mission and belief that AI should benefit everyone and be used as a tool to enhance work,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said. “We look forward to working with AJP and its grantees, creating a valuable feedback loop, and exploring ways AI technology can bolster the work of local journalism.”