OpenAI and The Financial Times Trade Content License for Generative AI Features

The Financial Times (FT) has partnered with OpenAI to license its content to improve OpenAI’s generative AI models while bringing customized AI features to FT readers. Under the new arrangement, ChatGPT will incorporate select summaries, quotations, and links to FT content.


The new arrangement is OpenAI’s latest deal with a publisher, with FT joining the ranks of Axel Springer, the Associated Press, Le Monde, and others. However, the FT deal is more comprehensive than those previously inked. While non-exclusive, the language used by the two firms suggests this is only the beginning of deeper ‘strategic’ plans for them both. OpenAI can leverage FT reporting to train its models, which is a very useful database when it comes to making responses that are more reliable and accurate, with fewer hallucinations.

“Our partnership and ongoing dialogue with the FT is about finding creative and productive ways for AI to empower news organizations and journalists, and enrich the ChatGPT experience with real-time, world-class journalism for millions of people around the world,” OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap said.

AI’s role in journalism is being scrutinized more and more, particularly concerning the accuracy and trustworthiness of automated content. LLMs are often criticized for their propensity to generate misleading or fabricated content—a stark contrast to traditional journalism’s commitment to accuracy. OpenAI may also hope to avoid the legal exposure of the past when it comes to publishers, including a lawsuit filed by The New York Times in December that claims OpenAI is using copyrighted material without authorization.

The new partnership continues the ongoing incorporation of generative AI into FT and its products. The publisher also created its own generative AI chatbot called “Ask FT” using Anthropic’s Claude 3 LLM.” Ask FT offers FT Professional subscribers responses produced from the last two decades of FT content. The FT had also signed up as a customer for OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise earlier this year.

“This is an important agreement in a number of respects. It recognizes the value of our award-winning journalism and will give us early insights into how content is surfaced through AI,” said FT Group CEO John Ridding. “We’re keen to explore the practical outcomes regarding news sources and AI through this partnership. We value the opportunity to be inside the development loop as people discover content in new ways. As with any transformative technology, there is potential for significant advancements and major challenges, but what’s never possible is turning back time. It’s important for us to represent quality journalism as these products take shape – with the appropriate safeguards in place to protect the FT’s content and brand.

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