FT Embraces GenAI - Praxis
FT Embraces GenAI

FT Embraces GenAI

By embracing the transformative power of AI, the Financial Times is positioning itself to remain at the forefront of the news landscape, setting a new standard for the industry


OpenAI, the company behind the generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, has created quite a turmoil in the news industry. While some publications have decided to swim with the GenAI tide by signing deals with OpenAI, others like the highly respected New York Times (NYT) and smaller digital publishers such as The Intercept, have started legal proceedings against OpenAI for alleged copyright violations.

The media landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, and the Financial Times (FT) has positioned itself at the forefront of this technological transformation. FT recently launched an AI chatbot named Ask FT for its subscribers. This innovative chatbot leverages advanced technology to provide curated natural language answers to user inquiries. Unlike general AI assistants, such as ChatGPT, Copilot, or Gemini, Ask FT draws its responses from the extensive wealth of information published by the Financial Times over the past decades. This approach ensures that the answers are based on reliable and transparent sources, avoiding potential legal issues associated with less verifiable content. It’s an exciting development that empowers subscribers to access precise and insightful information directly from the FT’s authoritative archive.

NYT alleges illegal use of content

As per media reports, OpenAI offers $1 million to $5 million annually as license fees for copyrighted news articles which are used to train its AI models. That’s one of the first indications of how much AI companies plan to pay for licensed material. Meanwhile The New York Times has an ongoing lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft alleges the illegal use of its content to train artificial intelligence chatbots.

Apple, too, is reportedly in talks with major news publishers to license their archives and use that information to help train its generative AI systems. According to NYT, Apple is discussing deals with publishers like Condé Nast, NBC News, and IAC –totalling at least $50 million for multiple years. This move signifies Apple’s growing focus on large language models (LLMs) and generative AI, positioning itself as a competitor to other tech giants in this space.

The OpenAI-Financial Times partnership represents a significant milestone for the industry, as the FT recognises the immense potential of AI to enhance the consumption and delivery of news content. Under the terms of the agreement, ChatGPT users will now be able to access summaries, quotes, and links to FT articles, seamlessly integrating the publication’s expertise into the AI platform.

AI will redefine the future of news

But this alliance goes beyond mere content licensing. FT has also committed to working with OpenAI to develop innovative AI products that will redefine the future of news and information dissemination. As a customer of ChatGPT Enterprise, the FT has already embraced the power of AI, and the new collaboration promises to push the boundaries even further.

Notably, the FT’s move comes in the midst of a growing debate surrounding the ethical implications of AI and its potential impact on content creators. While some publications have taken a combative stance, filing lawsuits against OpenAI and Microsoft, the FT has chosen a more pragmatic approach.

“It’s right, of course, that AI platforms pay publishers for the use of their material,” says John Ridding, the FT Group CEO, talking to reporters. He rightfully acknowledges that in the interest of users, these AI products must contain reliable sources – a conviction that the FT is clearly upholding.

As the media industry navigates the uncharted waters of the AI revolution, the FT’s decision to partner with OpenAI stands as a testament to its forward-thinking vision. By embracing the transformative power of AI, the publication is positioning itself to remain at the forefront of the news landscape, delivering unparalleled value to its readers and setting a new standard for the industry.

In 2023, Associated Press and Axel Springer SE – the German owner of Business Insider and Politico – entered into agreements with OpenAI. In March this year, OpenAI also announced such other contracts, including those with the French daily Le Monde and Spanish Prisa Media, owner of El País and El Huffpost.


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