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OpenAI Forms Partnership with Reddit to Access User Data for AI Training

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 17, 2024
OpenAI Forms Partnership with Reddit to Access User Data for AI Training

OpenAI Forms Partnership with Reddit to Access User Data for AI Training

OpenAI has announced a strategic partnership with Reddit, gaining access to a real-time feed of Reddit’s content, including posts and replies. This collaboration is aimed at enhancing OpenAI’s conversational AI, ChatGPT, and developing new AI-powered features for Reddit users and moderators.

As part of the agreement, OpenAI will also engage as an advertising partner on Reddit. This alliance extends beyond content access to potentially reshaping the interaction dynamics on the Reddit platform, leveraging large language models (LLMs), machine learning (ML), and AI to enrich user experiences.

Notably, the partnership is underscored by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s significant stake in Reddit—8.7%, making him the third-largest shareholder. Despite Altman’s position on OpenAI’s board, he recused himself from the decision-making process regarding this partnership to avoid conflicts of interest, with OpenAI’s COO Brad Lightcap leading the initiative, which received approval from an independent board of directors.

This partnership emerges as part of Reddit’s broader strategy to monetize its extensive data archives as it navigates the financial landscape as a public company. Having recently gone public, Reddit disclosed in its IPO prospectus contractual agreements to license its data, with deals like those with Google surpassing $200 million. Following the announcement of the deal with OpenAI, Reddit’s stock saw an 11% increase in extended trading.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, during an earnings call, highlighted the increasing value of authentic human-generated content on the internet amidst a surge of machine-written material. Reddit, with its vast database of over 1 billion posts and 16 billion comments, presents a valuable resource for AI development, providing generative AI companies with diverse and expansive content for training models.

However, this data-sharing initiative might face resistance from the Reddit community, which has previously expressed concerns over data monetization strategies. This is illustrated by the backlash faced by Stack Overflow and a startup named Vana. Stack Overflow faced user protests after entering a data-sharing agreement with OpenAI, leading to the restoration and banning of deleted posts.

Similarly, Reddit banned a subreddit dedicated to Vana, a company attempting to create a Digital Autonomous Organization (DAO) for users to control their data collectively, accusing it of exploiting its data export controls.

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Featured Image courtesy of Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Imagesx

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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