OpenAI, the renowned artificial intelligence research laboratory, and its financial backer Microsoft (MSFT.O) are facing a legal battle in Manhattan federal court. Nonfiction authors Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gage filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Friday, claiming that the companies violated their copyrights by improperly using their works to train AI models, including the popular chatbot ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence-based services.
Basbanes and Gage allege that their books were included as part of the data used to train OpenAI’s GPT large language model, leading to copyright infringement. The writers argue that OpenAI and Microsoft misused their creative works without proper compensation or authorization.
As of now, representatives for Microsoft and OpenAI have not responded to requests for comment on the complaint.
This lawsuit is part of a growing trend, with various authors, both from fiction and nonfiction genres, taking legal action against tech companies for allegedly using their work to train AI programs. Comedian Sarah Silverman and “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin are among the notable figures who have filed similar lawsuits in recent times.
In a recent development, The New York Times also joined the legal fray by suing OpenAI and Microsoft last week over the alleged use of its journalists’ work in training AI applications.
Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gage, both former journalists, are represented by their lawyer, Michael Richter. Richter expressed his outrage at the situation, stating, “It is outrageous that these companies could use their works to power a new billion-dollar-plus industry without any compensation.”
The outcome of this lawsuit could have significant implications for the intersection of intellectual property and artificial intelligence, as it raises questions about the ethical use of creative works in the development of advanced AI technologies.