Reddit goes AI agnostic, signs data training deal with OpenAI

Now Google and OpenAI can slurp up your precious memes and priceless comments

Still upset that Reddit decided to sell all its content to Google for training its AI? Well, bad news: Now OpenAI has jumped into the mix as well.

Reddit announced yesterday that it signed a deal with OpenAI to bring Reddit content "to ChatGPT and new products." The deal will involve OpenAI gaining access to the Reddit Data API, which will enable it to pull real-time responses from The Front Page of the Internet. OpenAI will also become a Reddit advertising partner as part of the deal.

"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," said Reddit cofounder and CEO Steve Huffman. "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."

For its part of the deal, Reddit said it will be able to add new AI-powered features for Reddit users and moderators by "building on OpenAI's platform of AI models to bring its powerful vision to life." Neither what those new features may be, or the vision Reddit has in mind, was explained in the statement. Perhaps we can look forward to AI moderators.

A Reddit spokesperson told The Register that it was too early to talk about new features, saying "this is the beginning of our partnership and our teams will work together to build for Reddit." 

It's also not clear how much the deal is worth, and Reddit said it doesn't share such details. Specifics aside, it's likely still a hefty chunk of change given that the agreement between Reddit and Google to provide the same sort of AI-training access was reportedly worth $60 million a year. 

Like the OpenAI deal, Reddit's Google AI training partnership gave the Chocolate Factory access to Reddit's aforementioned Data API. "This partnership is consistent with other content arrangements," Google said in its statement about the OpenAI deal. 

For those that may not recall, Reddit decided last year to start charging for access to its Data API due to concerns that AI models would start ingesting all its user-supplied content without Reddit getting a cut.

Unfortunately for many users' preferences and developer pocket books, putting the API behind a paywall meant the third-party app and service ecosystem that had grown up around Reddit had essentially been shut down. The move led to mass protests and subreddit blackouts that had negligible effect. 

Instead, Reddit took its API and started making incredibly lucrative deals in the run up to, and now in the aftermath, of its March IPO. While it slumped after an initial surge, Reddit shares have been back on the upswing of late, and news of the OpenAI deal have sent shares soaring.

In other words, this is probably just the second in a long line of moves that'll piss off Reddit users; it's easy to find plenty of discontent about both the Google and OpenAI deals on the platform. Whether Reddit administrators are paying attention - so far it doesn't seem so, and they probably won't until those deals start to dry up. ®

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