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OpenAI inks News Corp deal, Google threatens to cut news funding

News Corp and OpenAI announced a multi-year agreement granting OpenAI access to News Corp's extensive news content. This partnership is intended to improve the quality and reliability of information provided by OpenAI's products, which the company says will allow users to make informed decisions based on trusted news sources.
The fate of online news media hangs in the balance in the OpenAI vs Google fight for AI dominance. Source: Negative Space/Pexels
The fate of online news media hangs in the balance in the OpenAI vs Google fight for AI dominance. Source: Negative Space/Pexels

The agreement encompasses a wide range of News Corp publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The Times, The Australian, and many more.

While News Corp will share journalistic expertise to uphold the highest standards, the partnership does not extend to other News Corp businesses.

"This landmark accord is not an end, but the beginning of a beautiful friendship," said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, highlighting the commitment to delivering both insight and integrity through this collaboration.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman echoed this sentiment, stating that the partnership "sets the foundation for a future where AI deeply respects, enhances, and upholds the standards of world-class journalism."

Trouble on the US West Coast

In stark contrast, Google has taken a different approach to its relationship with the news industry. Amidst regulatory challenges in California, Google has warned non-profit newsrooms that proposed legislation could jeopardise its future investments in US news.

This isn't the first time Google has made such threats. In April, the company paused investments in California newsrooms in response to the California Journalism Preservation Act (CPJA) which the search giant claimed to create a "link tax" bill.

Jaffer Zaidi, Google VP for Global News Partnerships wrote in a blogpost:

By helping people find news stories, we help publishers of all sizes grow their audiences at no cost to them. CJPA would up-end that model. It would favor media conglomerates and hedge funds—who’ve been lobbying for this bill—and could use funds from CJPA to continue to buy up local California newspapers, strip them of journalists, and create more ghost papers that operate with a skeleton crew to produce only low-cost, and often low-quality, content. CJPA would also put small publishers at a disadvantage and limit consumers’ access to a diverse local media ecosystem.

Now, a new bill proposing a tax on digital ad transactions has prompted Google to warn of potential cuts to its Google News Initiative, a programme that funds hundreds of smaller news outlets nationwide.

While Google claims its concerns stem from the potential wider precedent this bill could set, critics argue the tax burden would ultimately fall on consumers and businesses.

Fight for AI dominance

The contrasting strategies of OpenAI and Google highlight the complex and evolving relationship between tech giants and the news industry.

As the current narrative stands, while OpenAI seeks to enhance its AI capabilities through collaboration, Google's approach is more reactive and adversarial, driven by concerns over regulatory pressures.

As the legislative battles in California continue, the future of Google's involvement in the news industry hangs in the balance, while OpenAI's partnership with News Corp marks a significant step towards integrating trusted journalism into the realm of AI.

About Lindsey Schutters

Lindsey is the editor for ICT, Construction&Engineering and Energy&Mining at Bizcommunity
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