ChatGPT to summarize Politico and Business Insider articles in ‘first of its kind’ deal

Axel Springer, the publisher of Business Insider and Politico, said on Wednesday it was partnering with OpenAI, which will pay the German media group to allow ChatGPT to summarize current articles in responses generated by the chatbot.

“ChatGPT users around the world will receive summaries of selected global news content from Axel Springer’s media brands,” which also includes the German tabloid Bild, the two companies said in a statement.

The chatbot’s answers will include material otherwise kept behind a paywall and offer “links to the full articles for transparency and further information”, they said. Axel Springer will be paid for making its content available to the US artificial intelligence firm, a spokesman for the media group told AFP. The deal is valid for several years and does not commit either side to exclusivity, leaving them free to sign new agreements, the spokesman said without giving more detail.

Other media companies have taken the opposite tack, walling off their content from the enormous hunger of AI for text to ingest and imitate. CNN, the New York Times, Disney (which owns ABC), Bloomberg, and the Guardian have blocked ChatGPT’s web crawler from vacuuming up their content to train the chatbot on how humans write. OpenAI has been sued multiple times for allegedly using copyrighted works to train ChatGPT. The company denies the claims.

Previous versions of ChatGPT could generate responses based on a dataset that only included information from 2021 and before. OpenAI has taken steps in recent months to advance the chatbot’s capabilities to include more current information.

The Axel Springer spokesman said that with the advent of platforms such as Google and Facebook, media companies had missed the opportunity to establish a new source of income “and we are all still running after the money”.

The partnership with OpenAI was “the first of its kind”, Axel Springer’s CEO, Mathias Döpfner, said in the statement.

“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 said.

Döpfner has previously warned that AI threatened to “replace” journalism, while the group has been pursuing its own AI-driven ventures.

OpenAI’s chief operating officer, Brad Lightcap, said in the statement that cooperation with Axel Springer would “help provide people with new ways to access quality, real-time news content through our AI tools”.

AI chatbots such as ChatGPT are able to generate essays, poems and more in a matter of a few seconds, but there are fears that the bots may recycle and spread false, nonsensical or offensive material in their answers to user queries – so-called “AI hallucinations”.