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News Corp. And OpenAI Announce Content Deal

News Corp. and OpenAI have reached an multi-year agreement to provide content for use in artificial intelligence.

The deal is the latest that OpenAI has reached with news publishers, even as it defends itself from lawsuits filed by other content creators over the use of their work in training models.

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According to a joint announcement, OpenAI will receive access to content from The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, Investor’s Business Daily, FN, New York Post, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, The Australian, news.com.au, The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail, The Advertiser and Herald Sun.

The Journal reported that the deal could be worth $250 million over five years, with compensation in the form of cash and credits for the use of AI technology.

Other publishers also have reached agreements with OpenAI, including the Associated Press and Axel Springer, offering up vast libraries of content that can be used to answer user questions and in other services. News Corp. also “will share journalistic expertise to help ensure the highest journalism standards are present across OpenAI’s offering,” according to the announcement.

Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp., said in a statement, “We believe an historic agreement will set new standards for veracity, for virtue and for value in the digital age.”

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, said, “Together, we are setting the foundation for a future where AI deeply respects, enhances, and upholds the standards of world-class journalism.”

Late last year, The New York Times sued OpenAI for copyright infringement, claiming that its content was being lifted by the platform to feed automated chatbots, constituting “unlawful copying and use of The Times’s uniquely valuable works.” Other lawsuits have been filed by authors and other artists including John Grisham and Sarah Silverman.

Earlier this week, actress Scarlett Johansson released a statement saying that she hired legal counsel after OpenAI released a ChatGPT demo featuring a voice that sounded similar to hers. She said that she had already declined an offer from Altman last year to use her voice in the system. Before she made her statement, OpenAI had announced that it was removing the voice — named Sky — from the demo.

The episode has caught the attention of lawmakers, who are pointing to it as an example of why greater guardrails are needed around the technology. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) brought it up at a House hearing today, saying that Johansson’s voice was “essentially stolen from her for an AI product.” President Joe Biden also posted on X/Twitter about the need for “trustworthy” AI-generated audio.

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