Reddit strikes deal allowing Google to train AI models on its posts

22 February 2024, 21:54

Reddit logo on a mobile phone
Google-Reddit-Partnership. Picture: PA

The arrangement is valued at roughly 60 million dollars (£47 million).

Reddit has struck a deal with Google that allows the search giant to use posts from the online discussion site for training its artificial intelligence models and to improve products such as online search.

The arrangement, announced on Thursday and valued at roughly 60 million dollars (£47 million), will also give Reddit access to Google AI models for improving its site search and other features.

It is a big step for San Francisco-based Reddit, which relies on sometimes contentious volunteer moderators to run its sprawling array of freewheeling topic-based discussions.

Those moderators have publicly protested against earlier Reddit decisions, most recently blacking out much of the site for days when Reddit announced plans to start charging many third-party apps for access to its content.

Google sign
Google played down its interest in using Reddit data to train its AI systems (AP)

But it is also highly significant for Google, which is hungry for access to human-written material it can use to train its AI models to improve their “understanding” of the world and thus their ability to provide relevant answers to questions in a conversational format.

Google praised Reddit in a news release, calling it a repository for “an incredible breadth of authentic, human conversations and experiences” and stressing that the search giant primarily aims “to make it even easier for people to benefit from that useful information”.

Google played down its interest in using Reddit data to train its AI systems, instead emphasising how it will make it “even easier” for users to access Reddit information, such as product recommendations and travel advice by funnelling it through Google products.

It described this process as “more content-forward displays of Reddit information” that aim to benefit both Google’s tools and to make it easier for people to participate on Reddit.

By Press Association

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