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  • Khushboo Pareek

Financial Times partners with OpenAI for use of its journalism

The Financial Times, the leading UK daily newspaper, has joined forces with OpenAI for use of its content for the training of the Artificial Intelligence Tech giant large language models.

In a joint statement released on Monday, the Financial Times and OpenAI revealed their partnership plans, under which OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, will utilize the business paper's journalism to enhance its AI models through training.

FT wrote on its website, "The Financial Times today announced a strategic partnership and licensing agreement with OpenAI, a leader in artificial intelligence research and deployment, to enhance ChatGPT with attributed content, help improve its models’ usefulness by incorporating FT journalism, and collaborate on developing new AI products and features for FT readers."

Additionally, both entities will work together on innovating new AI products and features tailored for the Financial Times' audience.

In return, ChatGPT will attribute and provide links back to the Financial Times whenever it incorporates information sourced from the publication in its responses.

FT Group CEO John Ridding said, "This is an important agreement in a number of respects… It recognises the value of our award-winning journalism and will give us early insights into how content is surfaced through AI."

He added, "We have long been a leader in news media innovation, pioneering the subscription model and engagement technologies, and this partnership will help keep us at the forefront of developments in how people access and use information."

Both companies refrained from disclosing the financial specifics of the deal.

However, earlier this year, The Information revealed that OpenAI typically offers publishers an annual licensing fee ranging from $1 million to $5 million to utilize their content for training its AI models.

Generative AI relies heavily on the quality of the data used to train its models. Typically, AI companies have gathered data from the internet without creators' consent, continuously seeking fresh sources to ensure model outputs remain up-to-date.

While training AI models on news content is a viable option, some publishers are cautious about providing their content freely to AI firms. For instance, The New York Times and the BBC have prohibited OpenAI from scraping their websites.

Consequently, OpenAI has been forging financial agreements with major publishers to sustain its model training.

Last year, the company collaborated with German publisher Axel Springer to train its models using content from Politico and Business Insider in the US, and Bild and Die Welt in Germany.

OpenAI has also secured agreements with other prominent publishers such as the Associated Press, France’s Le Monde, and Spain’s Prisa Media.

"We're keen to explore the practical outcomes regarding news sources and AI through this partnership," said Ridding.

The paper's top executive said one must march in step with the time, indicating that the AI is a fait accompli and it must be allowed to exist, albeit with caution.

"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," he said. 



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