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ChatGPT creator sued for illegal use of data

Artificial intelligence uses publicly available user data at will
(photo: CC0 Public Domain)

The Clarkson Law Firm filed a class action lawsuit in federal court on Northern District of California v. OpenAI, the developer of the popular artificial intelligence bot ChatGPT.

The plaintiff alleges that the chatbot’s developer violated the rights of millions of Internet users by using their publicly available data to train large language models that underpin AI algorithms, the Washington Post notes.

According to Clarkson managing partner Ryan Clarkson, the company is representing the interests of “real people whose data was stolen and misused to create this very powerful technology.”

This is publicly available user data, such as comments on social networks, blog posts, Wikipedia articles, etc. Official representatives of OpenAI are currently refraining from commenting on the lawsuit.

Clarkson’s case touches on a pressing issue in the field of generative neural networks, such as AI bots and image generators. Such tools are trained on the vast amount of data available on the Internet. After completing training, large language models can form responses when communicating with a person, compose poems or stories, conduct complex conversations, etc.

The problem is that the people whose data the neural networks are trained on haven’t given consent for developers like OpenAI to use that information.

“All this information is being used at scale, even though it was never intended to train large language models,” says Clarkson. He expects the court to set some limits on how AI algorithms can be trained and how people can be compensated for using their data. The company already has a group of claimants and is actively looking for new customers.

Clarkson’s case against OpenAI is not the first in which AI developers have been accused of data misuse. In November of last year, a lawsuit was filed against OpenAI and Microsoft over the companies’ use of code on the GitHub platform to train AI tools.

In February this year platform Getty Images is suing startup Stability AI, accusing it of illegally using images to train its generative neural network behind the innovative image generation service.

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