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OpenAI Admits ChatGPT Would Be Impossible without Copyrighted Content

The company thinks The New York Times lawsuit is "without merit."

Image credit: Camilo Concha/Shutterstock

ChatGPT's creator OpenAI has been swarmed by lawsuits for a while now, with artists, authors, and other specialists pushing back against AI tools using their works in training to produce new results. You've probably heard about writers, including George R.R. Martin, taking action against the company, and last month, they were joined by The New York Times, who accused OpenAI of using its content to train its large language model systems.

In a submission to the House of Lords Communications and Digital Select Committee, OpenAI admitted that LLMs like GPT-4 couldn't exist without copyrighted content:

“Because copyright today covers virtually every sort of human expression – including blogposts, photographs, forum posts, scraps of software code, and government documents – it would be impossible to train today’s leading AI models without using copyrighted materials,” OpenAI said (via The Guardian).

Systems without access to such works simply wouldn't "meet the needs of today’s citizens," according to the company. ChatGPT developer claimed that it complies with the requirements of all applicable laws, including copyright laws when training our models, but it recognizes that "there is still work to be done to support and empower creators."

In response to the New York Times situation, OpenAI published a post stating it believes the lawsuit is "without merit."

"Our goal is to develop AI tools that empower people to solve problems that are otherwise out of reach. ... While we disagree with the claims in The New York Times lawsuit, we view it as an opportunity to clarify our business, our intent, and how we build our technology."

The company then added that it collaborates with news organizations, and while training is fair use, it provides an opt-out "because it’s the right thing to do." Interestingly, it claims The New York Times "is not telling the full story" and the two organizations had been negotiating before the lawsuit.

"Our discussions with The New York Times had appeared to be progressing constructively through our last communication on December 19. The negotiations focused on a high-value partnership around real-time display with attribution in ChatGPT, in which The New York Times would gain a new way to connect with their existing and new readers, and our users would gain access to their reporting. We had explained to The New York Times that, like any single source, their content didn't meaningfully contribute to the training of our existing models and also wouldn't be sufficiently impactful for future training."

Soon after this, the news outlet sued OpenAI, which was a "surprise and disappointment" for the tech giant. 

If you'd like to know more about the case, read the full submission here and join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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