Apple has begun discussing a potential deal with leading news and content publishers that would see it license an archive of news articles on its generative AI model, according to a new report from The New York Times.
The negotiations are in an early phase, but they would see Apple license material from “major news and publishing organizations” to train its upcoming generative AI model. The potential licensing deal could be worth at least $50 million and span multiple years, with talks reportedly including publishers from the likes of Condé Nast, NBC News, and IAC. Those publishers own rights to publications like Vogue, The New Yorker, People, The Daily Beast, and Better Homes and Gardens.
The report warns that some publishers that Apple has reached out to have so far been “lukewarm” over a potential deal, as they don’t feel that working with Silicon Valley is worth the hassle over previous failed encounters with other tech companies. Other publishers have expressed concerns over some terms proposed by Apple, with some executives describing them as “expansive” and vague over what the licensed content will be used for. In addition, the suggested deal would make the publishers legally liable for any content misuse and not Apple.
On the other hand, other executives are reportedly open to working with Apple, especially since the Cupertino company is looking for explicit approval from publishers to use their content for AI purposes, unlike other companies that sought approval after they had already used it to train other AI models.
The company’s licensing deal for generative AI purposes stems from its desire to commit to data privacy. Internally, Apple engineers debated the best way to gather data for AI training purposes, with the company reportedly avoiding freely collecting data from the internet or social media platforms like Twitter over privacy concerns. The company feels that a data licensing deal with publishers is the best way to collect massive amounts of data without compromising online privacy.
Earlier reports indicated that Apple is now spending millions of dollars a day on its AI endeavors. The company is also said to have developed an internal ChatGPT-like tool dubbed “Apple GPT” as a way to test its AI frameworks before launching consumer-facing features next year as part of iOS 18.