Apple’s pursuit of news archives raises concerns over AI training

  • Apple pursues $50M multi-year deals with major publishers for AI training using news archives.
  • News publishers conflicted on Apple collaboration, citing legal concerns and revenue opportunities.
  • Apple invests in AI, optimizing systems for Siri; follows industry trend with news collaboration.

In a bid to improve its generative AI systems, Apple is reportedly in talks with major news publishers, including Condé Nast, NBC News and IAC, for multi-year licensing deals worth at least $50 million, according to a report in the New York Times. The move is aimed at using news archives as a valuable source of diverse data to train AI models to create high-quality content for Apple’s products and services, such as Siri, News, and Apple TV+.

Mixed reactions from news publishers

News publishers involved in negotiations with Apple have mixed views on the potential partnership. Some are concerned about the legal and ethical implications, fearing potential liability for issues such as plagiarism, libel or misinformation arising from Apple’s use of their content. However, some news executives see working with Apple as an opportunity to generate new revenue streams, expand audience reach and increase brand awareness. They hope to gain insights and innovations from Apple’s generative AI systems that could improve their own content production and distribution.

Many publishing executives are concerned that Apple’s current terms are too vague and broad. Sources close to the situation say that the company had intended to grant publishers a licence to publish content archives. Whether these intelligent AIs, fed by the company’s earnestness, will become yet another replacement for journalists, writers and editors, we don’t know. After all, AI painting and AI dubbing have already begun to change the rules by which the entire creative industry operates.

Also read: Anthropic pioneers copyright compensation in AI large language models

Why Apple is eyeing news archives

Generative AI needs large and diverse datasets to learn different styles, topics and content formats. News archives are a rich source of such data, covering a wide range of topics from politics and business to sports and entertainment. By working with reputable news publishers, Apple aims to gain access to reliable datasets that can help teach its generative AI systems to produce realistic and relevant content. In addition, the expertise and reputation of news publishers could provide valuable feedback on the quality and accuracy of the content.

Apple’s AI progress and goals

Amid increasing competition in the AI field, Apple has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence. The company reportedly spends “millions of dollars a day” on AI research, development and talent acquisition. Recent releases such as Core ML and Swift for TensorFlow support AI initiatives, and Apple is optimising its AI systems to run efficiently on its own chips, including Apple Silicon. One of Apple’s main AI goals is to improve Siri, its voice assistant, and compete with rivals such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The company aims to make Siri more conversational, contextual and personalised, and to offer additional features and integrations.

Following industry trends

Apple joins other tech giants, such as OpenAI and Google, in working with news organisations to develop AI. OpenAI has signed deals with the Associated Press and Axel Springer, while Google has launched tools such as Journalist Studio to help journalists and news publishers analyse and visualise data.


Coco Yao

Coco Yao was an intern reporter at BTW media covering artificial intelligence and media. She is studying broadcasting and hosting at the Communication School of Zhejiang.

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