Media Insider: FT Launches Venture Arm, OpenAI Says New York Times ‘Hacked’ ChatGPT

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s roundup of media news stories from the week.

Financial Times launches venture arm, invests in Charter
Axios | Sara Fischer

The Financial Times has launched a separate venture arm, FT Ventures, to invest in high-growth media and tech companies. “We are looking for high-growth and innovative companies in the global information industry and tech companies that support them,” Alexandra Calinikos, corporate development and strategy director at the FT, said. Its first investment is in Charter, a future-of-work media startup. The FT is one of several larger media companies, including Hearst, that is leaning into venture investing as a way to spur innovation. Calinikos said FT Ventures is currently in discussion with more companies to invest in, including a small news-focused business and some others in technology and AI.

Read next: Mehdi Hasan, whose MSNBC show was recently canceled, is launching his own media company.

Supreme Court justices appear skeptical of Texas and Florida social media laws
NPR | Carrie Johnson

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases that legal experts say are the most important First Amendment cases in a generation. The question is whether states like Florida and Texas can force big social media platforms to carry content the platforms find hateful or objectionable. After former President Donald Trump was booted from several social media platforms following the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021, Republicans in Florida and Texas signed sweeping laws that prevent the largest platforms from banning users based on their political viewpoints and require them to provide an individual explanation to users about why their posts have been edited or removed. Chief Justice John Roberts and several other justices seemed to side with a key argument from the social media platforms: that decades of free speech jurisprudence mean government officials cannot compel people or businesses, including social media giants, to speak. “It is necessary to have guidelines and terms of use to make sure that a community isn’t polluted,” said Matt Schruers, president of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a trade group for the social media companies.

Read next: Now Media is launching Sovereignty, which combats misinformation by using blockchain technology to help media organizations authenticate their digital content.

Former Twitter engineers are building Particle, an AI-powered news reader
TechCrunch | Sarah Perez

New startup, which is in private beta, leverages AI to summarize the news and also aims to do so in a way that fairly compensates authors and publishers. The startup was founded last year by former Senior Director of Product Management at Twitter, Sara Beykpour, who worked on products like Twitter Blue, Twitter Video and conversations. Her co-founder is a former senior engineer at both Twitter and Tesla, Marcel Molina. News readers are offered a quick, bulleted summary of the story, which they can either use to get up to speed or can choose to go deeper to “learn about how a story has unfolded over time,” Beykpour says. The summaries pull from across the political spectrum and include The New York Times, CNBC, the AP, ABC, CNN, Breitbart, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Politico, Fox News, USA Today, The Daily Caller, New York Post, The Hill, and others, as well as international outlets when relevant.

Read next: In the Bay area, The San Francisco Chronicle is using an AI-powered chatbot to help readers find recommended local restaurants and specific dishes.

OpenAI says New York Times ‘hacked’ ChatGPT to build copyright lawsuit
Reuters | Blake Brittain

OpenAI has asked a federal judge to dismiss parts of the New York Times’ copyright lawsuit against it, arguing that the newspaper “hacked” ChatGPT to generate misleading evidence. The Times sued OpenAI and its largest financial backer Microsoft in December, accusing them of using millions of its articles without permission to train the chatbots. OpenAI claims The Times caused the technology to reproduce its material through “deceptive prompts that blatantly violate OpenAI’s terms of use.” OpenAI did not name the “hired gun” who it said the Times used to manipulate its systems and did not accuse the newspaper of breaking any anti-hacking laws. “What OpenAI bizarrely mischaracterizes as ‘hacking’ is simply using OpenAI’s products to look for evidence that they stole and reproduced The Times’s copyrighted work,” the newspaper’s attorney Ian Crosby said in a statement.

Read next: Tumblr and WordPress are preparing to sell user data to Midjourney and OpenAI to train their AI tools.

Introducing the Pew-Knight Initiative
Pew Research Center | Katerina Eva Matsa

Through a five-year partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Pew Research Center will deliver a comprehensive, real-time look at the fast-evolving information landscape from the standpoints of both consumers and producers of news. The partnership will work to improve our understanding of how Americans gather information about the world around them and how that information fuels their beliefs, shapes their identities, forges their communities and inspires civic participation. Multiple methods, including surveys, qualitative research, industry data and computational social science, will be used to look at the changing information environment.

Read next: Pew Research recently found that people generally see social media as more of a good thing than a bad thing for democracy.

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Rocky Parker is the Manager of Audience and Journalist Engagement at Cision PR Newswire. She's been with the company since 2010 and has worked with journalists and bloggers as well as PR and comms professionals. Outside of work, she can be found trying a new recipe, binging a new show, or cuddling with her pitbull, Hudson.

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