Apple reaches out to news giants, floats deals worth $50 million. Here’s why


Technology giant Apple is negotiating with major news giants, seeking their approval to use their material in its development of generative artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has floated deals worth at least $50 million to license the archives of news articles, The New York Times reported.

Apple has reached out to NBC News, Conde Nast, IAC which owns People, The Daily Beast, Better Homes and Gardens. The negotiations are the earliest efforts by Apple to match up to its rivals to develop generative AI. As of now, Microsoft, Google, OpenAI and Meta have unveiled chatbots and other AI-developed products, the NYT report added.

Apple does have a virtual assistant named Siri but it has been stagnant since the release. Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that the company has been working on AI but did not elaborate.

According to report, the publishers contacted by Apple were lukewarm to response. They are concerned about Apple’s terms being too expansive. According to report, the tech giant’s initial pitch covered the broad licensing of the archives of published content. The company also sounded vague on how it intended to apply generative AI to news industry, the NYT report added.

However, some news executives sounded optimistic of Apple’s approach, hoping it might result into a meaningful partnership. The tech firm’s executives have been debating on how to accumulate the data needed for generative AI products. Some of Apple’s rivals have been accused of taking written material from across the web without approval from artists, writers and coders, resulting in several copyright lawsuits.

The Cupertino-based iPhone maker Apple has floated deals worth at least $50 million to license the archives of news articles(Reuters file)

Due to its commitment to privacy, Apple has shown reluctance in gathering information from the internet. After acquiring social analytics start-up Topsy in 2013, Apple had asked it to stop collecting info from X (earlier Twitter), arguing that such an act violated its policy against collecting data on Apple customers.

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