According to a new report by The New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter, Apple is poised to become the next big company to partner with publishers for Large Language Model (LLM) training.
Professional texts are indeed a valuable resource for training LLMs and Apple is looking to officially acquire them through deals worth $50 million. The Cupertino giant has reportedly been in talks with prominent publishers and news organizations over the past few weeks to obtain licenses for AI training material.
The NY Times reports that Apple has been in touch with companies such as Condé Nast, NBC News, and IAC, the parent company of media outlets such as People, The Daily Beast, and Better Homes and Gardens. All of these deals, according to sources, span over multiple years.
Some publishers have raised concerns regarding the extent of Apple’s licensing terms, feeling that the compensation offered may not adequately reflect the value of their extensive archives. Additionally, these terms would place legal responsibility on the publishers for how Apple utilizes their content.
There’s also uncertainty about how Apple plans to implement generative AI in news-related applications. Should Apple decide to integrate news-oriented generative AI within its own hardware and software ecosystem, potentially automating aspects of the news industry, publishers might find themselves in a position where they are essentially competing against their own content provided to Apple.
This situation draws parallels to recent developments involving artists. Unlike publishers, artists have not been consulted or compensated for the use of their work in AI training, sparking debates over rights and royalties in the digital age.
Apple could also explore alternate ways to train its AI systems without acquiring any licenses, just like Google and OpenAI, both of whom reportedly took the data they needed without asking, finding themselves in multiple lawsuits as a result.
The New York Times reports that this aspect of Apple’s strategy is why certain leaders in the news industry view the tech giant’s approach with a sense of optimism. Unlike its counterparts, Apple is choosing to seek explicit permission for content use, a move that could pave the way for mutually beneficial collaborations, setting a precedent for respecting content ownership and creator rights.