Reddit wants a piece of generative -AI’s success

Reddit has a bone to pick with AI companies.

Together with

The Future. Reddit doesn’t want the vast trove of data from its 57 million users to be used freely by AI companies to train its systems. Instead, the company wants them to pay for that access so that it can be rewarded for the value created on the platform. With AI systems likely to bite, Reddit could be setting a precedent for a new revenue stream for community-centric websites. We wonder how some of that monetary value can trickle down to users…

ChatGPT guinea pigs
Reddit has a bone to pick with AI companies.

  • The company plans to start paywalling access to its API, specifically targeting AI companies who “download and process the social network’s vast selection of person-to-person conversations” to train its chatbots.
  • The move comes as Google and OpenAI have both reported that Reddit has been a key source of data.

Reddit believes that the breadth and constantly updating nature of conversations on the platform have made it vital for training large language models (LLMs).

Gated community
While the move follows Twitter’s own restrictions on using its API, Reddit said that it would still keep its API free for developers making apps for use on Reddit and for research and academic purposes.

Up until now, Reddit has had a mutually-beneficial relationship with Google, with the tech giant “crawling” Reddit to index for Search results. That was a boon for the social platform. 

But with AI systems like Bard just digesting Reddit posts to regurgitate as its own, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman has said that it changes the dynamic because “generating value and not returning any of that value to our users is something we have a problem with.”

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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