German media giant Axel Springer, which owns Business Insider and Politico and many other publications, has announced a "global partnership" with ChatGPT maker OpenAI to "strengthen independent journalism in the age of artificial intelligence."

"With this partnership, ChatGPT users around the world will receive summaries of selected global news content from Axel Springer’s media brands," reads a statement by Axel Springer VP Adib Sisani. "ChatGPT’s answers to user queries will include attribution and links to the full articles for transparency and further information." The announcement adds that "quality content from Axel Springer media brands" will be used to train its AI models.

The timing of the announcement is interesting, to say the least. The news comes after the use of AI tech in journalism has flared up numerous controversies throughout the year, from CNET quietly publishing error-laden and plagiarized AI-generated material to BuzzFeed catching flak for publishing large numbers of low-quality AI-generated travel guides to USA Today owner Gannett being forced to halt the publication of flawed AI-generated sports roundups.

Most recently, Futurism reported that renowned magazine Sports Illustrated had been publishing product reviews that were bylined by completely made-up writers with AI-generated profile pictures. Roughly two weeks of media coverage and outrage from the magazine's staff later, several top executives and the CEO of SI's publisher The Arena Group have been fired.

Only time will tell whether Axel Springer will have learned from these mistakes, and plenty of questions remain about its partnership with OpenAI. The statement is extremely vague; beyond enriching the "users' experience with ChatGPT" to create "new financial opportunities," we still don't know how deep the integration will go and how much human oversight there will be.

According to Sisani's statement, ChatGPT's answers will "include attribution and links to the full articles for transparency and further information."

But whether the output will be vetted by human staffers, let alone if writers and editors will ever be financially rewarded for the content they provide is still unclear.

The journalism industry has already suffered several notable setbacks this year, with layoffs hitting countless publications including household names like Wired, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post.

In many ways, Axel Springer's latest collaboration is likely an attempt to find new revenue sources as ad dollars keep drying up.

"We want to explore the opportunities of AI-empowered journalism," said Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner in a statement, "to bring quality, societal relevance and the business model of journalism to the next level."

But whether the collaboration will end up being fruitful beyond lining the pockets of the media company's executives — or triggering even more AI content-related scandals — remains to be seen. After all, ChatGPT's glaring shortcomings have yet to be meaningfully addressed, from severe "hallucinations" to botched summaries of existing content.

In other words, using AI for nonfiction purposes comes with plenty of risks, and staffers at Axel Springer's publications will have their work cut out to ensure their readers aren't being fed misleading information and potentially downright lies.

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