This news was originally shared by the American Journalism Project and can be read here.
The American Journalism Project, the leading venture philanthropy working to rebuild local news, today announced a new partnership with OpenAI, the AI research and deployment company behind ChatGPT, to explore ways through which the development of artificial intelligence (AI) can support a thriving, innovative local information field.
OpenAI commits $5 million to the American Journalism Project to support the expansion of AJP’s work and up to $5 million in OpenAI API credits to help its grantee organizations evaluate and deploy technologies of emerging AI within their organizations. The collaboration aims to establish lines of dialogue between the local news industry and OpenAI, and to develop tools that could help local news organizations.
“To ensure that local journalism remains a vital pillar of our democracy, we must be smart about the powers and potential pitfalls of new technologies,” said Sarabeth Berman, CEO of the American Journalism Project. “In these early days of generative AI, we have an opportunity to ensure that local news organizations and their communities participate in shaping its implications. With this partnership, we aim to promote ways that AI can improve journalism rather than undermine it.
There are significant opportunities for journalism organizations to use AI: it can facilitate deeper analysis of public data and information; reinforce and personalize the user experience; and develop new formats to transmit information. At the same time, AI poses significant challenges to developers, journalists and society, including the potential growth and spread of misinformation and complex issues related to bias, privacy and copyright .
Through this partnership, AJP aims to build the support structure for local, community-focused news organizations to expand their capabilities through AI. The partnership will also support AJP’s efforts to rebuild local information and create healthier local information ecosystems to combat misinformation.
“We are proud to support the American Journalism Project’s mission to strengthen our democracy by rebuilding the nation’s local news industry. This collaboration underscores our mission and belief that AI should benefit everyone and be used as a tool to improve work,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “We look forward to working with AJP and its grantees, creating a valuable feedback loop, and exploring ways that AI technology can strengthen the work of local journalism.”
AJP and its portfolio of local news organizations will use OpenAI funds to experiment with the application of artificial intelligence in several ways:
- Creation of a technology and AI studio: The AJP will assemble a team that will evaluate applications of AI in the local news sector. The studio will provide expert coaching to AJP portfolio organizations, add capabilities as they explore how to get the most out of AI tools, and foster collaboration and a feedback loop with external partners like OpenAI and vendors working on AI applications that support high-quality journalism and prevent the spread of misinformation. As part of this work, the studio will organize a learning community across the AJP portfolio to document and share best practices, guidelines, and lessons as experiments unfold.
- Carry out pilot investments: AJP will distribute direct grants to approximately ten of its portfolio organizations to help them explore opportunities to use AI capabilities. These beneficiaries will pilot and experiment with numerous AI applications; their work will serve as an example to the entire local news industry on how to best use AI-based tools.
- OpenAI API credits: In addition to $5 million in funding, OpenAI will also contribute up to $5 million in API credits to AJP and its portfolio organizations, which can choose to build and use tools using this technology.
The American Journalism Project is the leading venture philanthropic organization working to address market failure in local news. It is creating and advancing a new generation of local, nonprofit news organizations across the country. Encouraging the adoption of new technologies, to improve journalism in the public interest, has been a key part of supporting the AJP project. To date, AJP has raised $139 million from local and national funders to address the local news crisis and has supported 41 nonprofit local news organizations across the country.
Founded in 2019, AJP is built on the proof that strong journalism is an essential part of a healthy democracy. Local news ensures the public stays informed and engaged. The sharp decline of local news in the Internet age has had measurable consequences on civic life, weakening the power of residents to hold community, business, and government leaders accountable, and Establish links with their neighbors on issues of common interest.
Founded in 2015, OpenAI is a research and deployment company with a mission to ensure that general-purpose artificial intelligence benefits all of humanity. The company is today governed by a non-profit organization and its original charter.