OpenAI Donates $5 Million to the American Journalism Project


ChatGPT creator OpenAI has committed $5 million to the American Journalism Project, the news organization announced Tuesday, representing its latest partnership with a media organization.

The AJP said the deal is designed to further the development of AI to assist and support local journalism. In addition to the $5 million, OpenAI also committed $5 million in API credits to the organization, giving the organization broad developer-level access to OpenAI’s growing catalog of AI products.

“To ensure local journalism remains an essential pillar of our democracy, we need to be smart about the potential powers and pitfalls of new technology,” American Journalism Project CEO Sarabeth Berman said in a statement. “With this partnership, we aim to promote ways for AI to enhance—rather than imperil—journalism.”

Founded in 2019, the American Journalism Project supports nonprofit news organizations. The AJP said the funding would go toward establishing a technology and AI studio and building a team to evaluate AI applications, and that it plans to offer grants to support other media organizations exploring AI’s potential.

Last week, the Associated Press said it had inked a deal with OpenAI that would give the artificial intelligence creator access to the AP’s massive archive of news stories going back to 1985. In exchange, the Associated Press says the agreement would give the media outlet access to OpenAI’s suite of products and technology.

“We are pleased that OpenAI recognizes that fact-based, nonpartisan news content is essential to this evolving technology and that they respect the value of our intellectual property,” AP senior vice president and chief revenue officer Kristin Heitmann said.

In addition to deals with media organizations, OpenAI also recently entered a six-year agreement with the stock media platform Shutterstock. The deal gives OpenAI access to the stock photos, videos, and music hosted on Shutterstock. All three organizations represent constituencies that many believe are directly threatened by generative AI.

While the AJP was enthusiastic about the potential for using AI to cover the news, the organization did acknowledge the technology’s flaws, including the potential to be used to spread misinformation. In June, the United Nations sounded the alarm on bad actors using AI-generated deepfakes to spread misinformation on social media.

“These risks have further intensified because of rapid advancements in technology, such as generative artificial intelligence,” United Nations Secretary-General Guterres said at the time. “It has become clear that business as usual is not an option.”

OpenAI has not yet responded to Decrypt’s request for comment.

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