Google can now use Reddit to train its AI models, following the completion of a $60 million deal

Before we get to the juicy cuts of the deal between Google and Reddit, let’s first do a little backstory, to put things into perspective because all is not as it seems in the divisive world of generative AI.

You’d think a company the size of Google would have no trouble training its AI models. After all, Google crawls the entire web and knows every site. But there is a huge 800-pound gorilla in the mix: copyright laws.

As OpenAI found out recently, you cannot just copy and paste entire websites into your LLM and hope no one finds out. It works, sure, but the end result – once the cat’s out of the bag – is lawsuits and on-going copyright disputes with the world’s biggest publishers.

And with the huge costs associated with running LLMs like ChatGPT, the last thing a company needs is a string of never-ending, costly lawsuits.

So, what’s a mega-corporation to do? Simple: ink a deal with another mega corporation and syphon off its data and content to train the model instead. And this, ladies and gentleman, is how Google and Reddit just became best buds.

Reddit Is Now In Bed With Google

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Reddit has entered into a contract with Google to use its content for training Google’s AI models, with the deal valued at around $60 million annually – as confirmed by Reuters.

This move comes as Reddit gears up for a significant IPO, looking to diversify revenue streams amidst strong advertising competition from platforms like TikTok and Facebook.

The agreement, Reddit’s first with a major AI firm, follows its decision last year to monetize access to its API.

Reddit is anticipated to file for its IPO this week, aiming to offer about 10% of its shares.

The company was valued at $10 billion during a 2021 funding round.

This development highlights the growing trend of AI companies seeking legitimate content sources for AI training, avoiding copyright issues associated with using internet-scraped data.

What Does This Mean?

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Well, for starters, any content available on Reddit – including posts, comments, and whatever else goes on inside subreddits – is now up for grabs by Google’s AI department.

But there’s more to this story. Back in 2023, Google released a search update, an algorithm update, called The Helpful Content Update, and it completely decimated the SERPs, wiping out tens of thousands of blogs and crippling millions of others (KYM, included).

There were winners, however, and one of the main winners was Reddit. During the latter part of 2023 and now, Reddit’s visibility in search has exploded – it literally shows up in 90% of searches. And for the life of me, I cannot help but think this isn’t mere coincidence.

Is This All Kosher?

Reddit Just Sold Its Soul To Google’s AI DreamPin

And then there’s the privacy issues. Reddit is a social platform, its content is user generated – generated by people like you and me. But Reddit is now going to sell that data (content) to Google for $60 million a year, and as far as I know there is no kickback for people that created the content on Reddit.

Another massive issue that is specific to Reddit is that A LOT of people post a lot of personal stuff on the platform – from dick pics to posts about their lives and family members. Does Google get access to all of this?

And finally, there’s the accuracy thing: Reddit is a social forum, a place where people shout at each other online. It is NOT a place where you’ll find factual information. Opinions? Sure. Experienced takes on things? Yes. But not actual facts – of the kind you’d get from, say, Wikipedia.

So why in the hell would Google want to train its AI models using Reddit? It’s like raising your kid on a strict diet of Lars Von Trier, EMPEROR, and high fructose corn syrup and then wondering why they turned out a bit odd.

None of anything to do with this story makes sense. All it demonstrates is that neither Google nor Reddit have any respect for people’s’ privacy rights.

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4 months ago

Yes, brother. I was seeing this from a mile away. But few people believed in it.
Google gave them USD 60 M a year + 40x more traffic to pump them for the IPO.
Sellout cunters.