OpenAI announces first partnership with media group – Axel Springer


OpenAI has entered into a groundbreaking partnership with German media group Axel Springer, the publisher of Business Insider and Politico, in a deal described as “the first of its kind.”

Under this collaboration, OpenAI’s ChatGPT will pay Axel Springer to use its material, including articles that are typically behind paywalls. Users of ChatGPT worldwide will receive summaries of selected global news content from Axel Springer’s media brands, which also include the popular German tabloid, Bild.

In an effort to enhance the quality of responses generated by ChatGPT, the chatbot’s answers will include material that is usually kept behind paywalls. Additionally, the summaries provided will offer links to the full articles, ensuring transparency and providing users with the option for further information. The agreement is set to be valid for several years and doesn’t impose exclusivity, allowing both parties the freedom to enter into additional agreements as needed.

While some media companies have opted to restrict access to their content by AI, Axel Springer has taken a different approach by actively partnering with OpenAI to make its content accessible to ChatGPT. Notable media organisations like CNN, the New York Times, Disney, Bloomberg, and the Guardian have chosen to block ChatGPT’s web crawler from using their content for training the chatbot.

OpenAI has faced legal challenges in the past, with multiple lawsuits alleging the unauthorized use of copyrighted works to train ChatGPT. However, the company has consistently denied these claims. OpenAI has been actively working on improving ChatGPT’s capabilities, allowing it to generate responses based on more current information.

Axel Springer’s CEO, Mathias Döpfner, expressed his excitement about the collaboration, “We want to explore the opportunities of AI empowered journalism – to bring quality, societal relevance and the business model of journalism to the next level,”

Döpfner has previously voiced concerns about AI potentially replacing journalism, and the media group has been exploring its own AI-driven initiatives.

OpenAI’s Chief Operating Officer, Brad Lightcap, emphasised that this partnership with Axel Springer would be able to offer people, “new ways to access quality, real-time news content through our AI tools”.

Why is this important?

While AI chatbots like ChatGPT can generate content quickly, concerns have been raised about the potential for these bots to spread false, nonsensical, or offensive material in their responses—a phenomenon referred to as “AI hallucinations.” The evolving landscape of AI in journalism continues to be a subject of exploration, with this collaboration marking a significant step in leveraging AI for news summarisation and distribution.