Last Minute OpenAI And Reddit Deal Official

Todd Moses
May 17, 2024

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.

Inputs that matter: OpenAI and Reddit are teaming up in a deal that will bring the social media platform's content to ChatGPT.

  • Reddit said that the agreement will give OpenAI access to its data application programming interface, which provides real-time, structured, and unique content from the platform.
  • Reddit users and moderators will also gain access to new artificial intelligence-powered features, and OpenAI will become a Reddit advertising partner.
  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman accumulated a stake in Reddit as an early investor, which has made him one of the company's most significant shareholders.

The opportunity: The blog post announcing the arrangement did not reveal financial terms, and neither company mentioned training data.

  • That last detail differs from the deal with Google, where Reddit explicitly stated it would give Google "more efficient ways to train models."
  • Reddit said the deal is consistent with other content arrangements and doesn't change its data API terms or developer terms, which say that content accessed through Reddit's data API can't be used for commercial purposes without the platform's approval.

Zoom in: "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," CEO Steve Huffman says.

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

Between the lines: "We are thrilled to partner with Reddit to enhance ChatGPT with uniquely timely and relevant information and to explore the possibilities of enriching the Reddit experience with AI-powered features," Brad Lightcap, OpenAI's chief operating officer, said in a statement.

  • The annual developer conference, Google I/O, started with a keynote talk on Tuesday, May 14.
  • It was expected that OpenAI and Microsoft would issue a press release soon after that to disrupt attention from their main competitor.
  • Meanwhile, Google I/O fired a warning shot toward Apple, which is set to hold its own software-oriented WWDC keynote on June 10.

Follow the money: In a recent podcast with Lex Fridman, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said, "The intersection of LLMs plus search, I don't think anyone has cracked the code yet. I would love to do that. I think that would be cool."

  • Moreover, he said that OpenAI wants to build something other than another Google Search. "I find that boring. I mean, if the question is if we can build a better search engine than Google or whatever, then sure, we should."
  • "Google shows you ten blue links, 13 ads, and then ten blue links, and that's one way to find information. But the thing that's exciting to me is not that we can build a better copy of Google Search, but that maybe there's just a better way to help people find, act on, and synthesize information," Altman concluded.

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