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OpenAI’s News Corp Partnership May Hint at Super-App Ambitions

In a move that could have far-reaching implications for the future of news and information, artificial intelligence (AI) company OpenAI and media giant News Corp announced a multi-year global partnership on Wednesday (May 22).

The deal, which was announced in a joint press release, will allow OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT AI chatbot to access and display content from over a dozen News Corp publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch and the New York Post.

Under the terms of the agreement, OpenAI will gain access to current and archived content from News Corp’s vast portfolio of publications, spanning a wide range of topics from business and finance to politics and entertainment. In addition, News Corp will share the expertise of its journalists with OpenAI to help enhance the AI’s understanding of the news landscape.

“We believe an historic agreement will set new standards for veracity, for virtue and for value in the digital age,” Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corp, said in a news release. “We are delighted to have found principled partners in Sam Altman and his trusty, talented team who understand the commercial and social significance of journalists and journalism. This landmark accord is not an end, but the beginning of a beautiful friendship in which we are jointly committed to creating and delivering insight and integrity instantaneously.”

Experts Say Deal Is About More Than Just Training Data

The partnership marks a significant step forward in the integration of AI and journalism and could have major implications for how people access and consume news in the future. However, some experts believe that the deal is about more than just improving ChatGPT’s ability to provide news and information.

“Most people will see the OpenAI-News Corp deal and assume it’s about training data. It’s not. It’s about ChatGPT competing with Google Search,” Nathaniel Whittemore, CEO of AI education company Superintelligent, told PYMNTS.

“OpenAI doesn’t just want ChatGPT to help you with your writing; it wants ChatGPT to help you with everything,” he added. “That means turning ChatGPT into your primary gateway to the rest of the world. And that means doing partnerships to connect the rest of the world to ChatGPT. That’s what these deals with Reddit, News Corp and others are really about. It’s about — to crib Google’s mission — organizing the world’s information.”

The move comes as more consumers are looking for a single app to help coordinate their busy lives. According to PYMNTS Intelligence, almost 100 million consumers in the U.S. and Australia would welcome a super app to help them multitask.

As the world becomes more digitally connected, consumers are looking to trim any time they can from their day-to-day routines. Data shows consumers are more open to using a single app for shopping, scheduling and other chores, making the landscape ripe for a super app.

Increasing Concerns About AI’s Effect on News

The partnership comes as the role of AI in the media industry is under increasing scrutiny. While some have raised concerns about the potential for AI to spread misinformation or replace human journalists, others see it as a tool to enhance and augment the work of traditional media outlets.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but both companies emphasized the long-term nature of the partnership and their commitment to working together to shape the future of news and information in the age of AI.