OpenAI to invest $5 million in local news

OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, will commit $5 million to support local news in a partnership with the American Journalism Project (AJP).

The new partnership is meant to future-proof local journalism through “smart” experimentation with AI, according to the AJP.

The organization said it would work with OpenAI and local news organizations to develop and deploy AI tools that could help bolster local reporting.

It is one way to ensure local journalism “remains an essential pillar of our democracy,” AJP CEO Sarabeth Berman said in an announcement of the partnership.

“In these early days of generative AI, we have the opportunity to ensure that local news organizations, and their communities, are involved in shaping its implications,” she added.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said his company supports the AJP’s mission to “strengthen our democracy by rebuilding the country’s local news sector.”

“This collaboration underscores our mission and belief that AI should benefit everyone and be used as a tool to enhance work,” he said.

The AJP will distribute direct grants to 10 out of 41 organizations in its portfolio, which will experiment with the best ways to leverage AI responsibly in their newsrooms and business operations.

While AI presents challenges to news media, including the potential for misinformation and issues related to bias, privacy, and copyright, it can also enable deeper data analysis, enhance user experience, and foster new formats for information delivery, the AJP said.

The AJP will also use the funds to establish an AI studio that will share expertise with the news organizations involved in the project and serve as a hub for communication with OpenAI and other external partners to create a “feedback loop.”

In addition to $5 million in grants, OpenAI will provide the AJP and its portfolio organizations with $5 million worth of credits to access its products.

Just last week, OpenAI announced that it signed a deal with The Associated Press (AP) to license the news agency’s archive of news stories.

Meanwhile, AP will leverage OpenAI’s technology and product expertise, the two organizations said in a joint statement. The financial details of the deal are unclear, AP reported.

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