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Journalists “deeply troubled” by OpenAI’s content deals with Vox, The Atlantic

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On Wednesday, Axios broke the news that OpenAI had signed deals with The Atlantic and Vox Media that will allow the ChatGPT maker to license their editorial content to further train its language models. But some of the publications’ writers—and the unions that represent them—were surprised by the announcements and aren’t happy about it. Already, two unions have released statements expressing “alarm” and “concern.”

“The unionized members of The Atlantic Editorial and Business and Technology units are deeply troubled by the opaque agreement The Atlantic has made with OpenAI,” reads a statement from the Atlantic union. “And especially by management’s complete lack of transparency about what the agreement entails and how it will affect our work.”

The Vox Union—which represents The Verge, SB Nation, and Vulture, among other publications—reacted in similar fashion, writing in a statement, “Today, members of the Vox Media Union … were informed without warning that Vox Media entered into a ‘strategic content and product partnership’ with OpenAI. As both journalists and workers, we have serious concerns about this partnership, which we believe could adversely impact members of our union, not to mention the well-documented ethical and environmental concerns surrounding the use of generative AI.”

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