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OpenAI strikes Reddit deal to train its AI on your posts

OpenAI has signed a deal for access to real-time content from Reddit’s data API, which means it can surface discussions from the site within ChatGPT and other new products. It’s an agreement similar to the one Reddit signed with Google earlier this year that was reportedly worth $60 million.

The deal will also “enable Reddit to bring new AI-powered features to Redditors and mods” and use OpenAI’s large language models to build applications. OpenAI has also signed up to become an advertising partner on Reddit. 

Redditors have been vocal about how Reddit’s executives manage the platform before, and it remains to be seen how they’ll react to this announcement. More than 7,000 subreddits went dark in June 2023 after users protested Reddit’s changes to its API pricing. Recently, following news of a partnership between OpenAI and the programming messaging board Stack Overflow, people were suspended after trying to delete their posts.

No financial terms were revealed in the blog post announcing the arrangement, and neither company mentioned training data, either. That last detail is different from the deal with Google, where Reddit explicitly stated it would give Google “more efficient ways to train models.” There is, however, a disclosure mentioning that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is also a shareholder in Reddit but that “This partnership was led by OpenAI’s COO and approved by its independent Board of Directors.”

“Reddit has become one of the internet’s largest open archives of authentic, relevant, and always up-to-date human conversations about anything and everything. Including it in ChatGPT upholds our belief in a connected internet, helps people find more of what they’re looking for, and helps new audiences find community on Reddit,” Reddit CEO Steve Huffman says. 

The company has not always been friendly toward companies scraping its data to train AI models. It threatened to block Google web crawlers from accessing the site. OpenAI also reportedly told the moderators of the subreddit r/ChatGPT that they violated OpenAI’s copyright by using the ChatGPT logo as a display photo. 

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