Artificial intelligence is one of the biggest emerging technology trends of our time, and it’s already facing some significant backlash amidst concerns about safety, security and whether it will overtake human jobs.
Recently, though, there has been a new area of concern that has formed – plagiarism and copyright cases that are being filed against the coding companies that have created AI platforms.
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that AI often repurposes and repackages information that is copyright protected. Now, content originators, internet publishers, artists and authors are all going after the firms that have created the AI platforms, seeking to get a cut of the money that is made off their work being used by the AI tools.
As James Patterson, a bestselling author, told to the Journal:
“This will not end well for creatives.”
He lashed out at what he called the “frightening” reality of the fact that his work has been used without his permission and without giving him compensation to train various AI tools.
The firms are basically using Patterson’s works, which he relies on for his livelihood, for free. Then, in the end, these companies and code writers are making a profit off of it based on the tools they are able to provide to the public.
Some people in the tech industry have already realized that this is happening and are trying to do something about it. Elon Musk, the owner of X – the social media company formerly known as Twitter – has limited how many tweets any one user will be able to view in an attempt to keep bots that are created by AI from scraping content on the platform for free.
Earlier in July, a group of thousands of authors that included both Margaret Atwood and Patterson penned an open letter to the AI companies that said they should be seeking permission from authors to use their work, and then providing them with compensation in return.
Sarah Silverman, a famous comedian, is one plaintiff in a lawsuit that was filed against Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – and OpenAI – the company behind ChatGPT – for using work from her “shadow libraries” that can be found on the internet.
The Journal reported that the Associated Press has already signed a deal with OpenAI that allows the tech company to use their news archives as part of the tools they produce. In addition, sources told the Journal that The New Yorker, News Corp., Politico and Rolling Stone are all among other companies that are trying to gain compensation from AI companies.
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and OpenAI both said they only use “publicly available” content for their AI tools. That being said, many experts in the field told the Journal that it’s still currently the “Wild Wild days of AI.”
Mehtab Khan, of the Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, commented:
“The cases are new and dealing with questions of a scale that we haven’t seen before. The question becomes about feasibility. How will they reach out to every single author?”