Surprisingly, OpenAI is getting ready to pay tens of millions to publishers for using their content to train ChatGPT, amid reports that it's getting dumber

Bing and Open AI
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • OpenAI is reportedly in the middle of a megadeal with German publisher Axel Springer, which will see it part tens of millions of euros in a span of 3 years.
  • If the deal goes through OpenAI will have access to articles (archived and current) from the publisher, which it'll use to train its AI models.
  • The tech firm promises to link back to the publisher for absolute transparency regarding the original source for the information.
  • Axel Springer will also leverage OpenAI's expertise in tech to improve its own products. 

Besides lucid hallucinations, safety, and privacy issues, there's been a lot of uncertainty especially when it comes to the digital space for content creators. AI-powered models like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft's Copilot (formerly Bing Chat) are designed to help users generate responses based on prompts, which has in turn completely revolutionized how people interact with the web.

The chatbots steal source for information from trusted websites. What's more, the information skillfully tailored and tuned in a manner that the user will get all the information they need at a glance. While this information is essentially borrowed from elsewhere, the chatbots provide tiny links to the original source (let's be honest, you almost never click on those).

But as it turns out, OpenAI might have had a change of heart on how to approach this matter. According to a spot by Bloomberg, the tech firm is reportedly in the middle of a deal with German publisher Axel Springer, which will see it part tens of millions of euros in a span of 3 years.

If and when the deal does through, OpenAI will leverage the publisher's news articles from brands like Business Insider, Politico, Bild, Welt and more to train its AI models.

According to OpenAI's COO, Brad Lightcap:

“This partnership with Axel Springer will help provide people with new ways to access quality, real-time news content through our AI tools. We are deeply committed to working with publishers and creators around the world and ensuring they benefit from advanced AI technology and new revenue models.”

As it happens, Microsoft has been actively exploring new revenue streams that it's testing out to compensate publications that are used as sources for Copilot. 

We want to drive more traffic to publishers in this new world of search. It is a top goal for us, and we measure success in part by how much traffic we are sending from the new Bing/Edge. Second, we want to increase revenue to publishers.

Microsoft CVP, Yusuf Mehdi

Shortly after Copilot's inception, Microsoft announced that Bing had surpassed 100 million daily active users, attributing some of the success to the chatbot. This aligns with Mehdi's sentiments highlighting that Bing is driving more traffic to publications that before.

ChatGPT is about to get its lick back

ChatGPT and Microsoft Logo

(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

In the past few months, there's been several reports indicating that ChatGPT is getting dumber despite OpenAI's heavy investment in the tech with new features, updates and models. This has seemingly affected the platform's user base, which has consequently declined for three months consecutively. What's more, it was also reported that OpenAI is running on fumes and on the verge of bankruptcy because of the cost implication of running an AI-powered chatbot.

RELATED: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman celebrates ChatGPT's first birthday

If the deal with German publisher Axel Springer pulls through, it's highly likely that reports citing ChatGPT's decline in accuracy will reduce significantly. OpenAI will also get access current and archived news articles across the publisher's brands, which it will use to train its LLMs. The chatbots will also refer back to the original source to provide absolute transparency to users. And since its a mutual partnership, Axel Springer will also leverage OpenAI's resources to further enhance and improve its products. 

What are your thoughts on OpenAI's first attempt to compensate publishers and websites for using their content to train its AI models? Let us know in the comments.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.