George RR Martin and other writers file suit against OpenAI (ChatGPT)

George RR Martin and other writers file suit against OpenAI (ChatGPT)

2023-09-21 13:35:00

A group of writers came together to file a complaint against OpenAI, the Californian start-up behind ChatGPT, accusing it of violating copyright to train artificial intelligence. Among them, “Game of Thrones” creator George RR Martin.

As reported by AFP, the complaint was filed on Tuesday September 19 in a federal court in New York. This is a class action, whose plaintiffs include the Authors Guild (an organization that represents authors) and several writers, including George RR Martin and John Grisham.

They accuse OpenAI of using their books “without permission” to train its language model, which now allows ChatGPT to produce derivative content that imitates the writers’ style. In fact, the company needed a phenomenal amount of documents to train its artificial intelligence, but never bothered to indicate precisely what it had swallowed.

“At the heart of these algorithms is systematic theft on a large scale,” assert the lawyers. And to continue: “In an unfair and perverse manner, (…) the deliberate copying (of the work) of the plaintiffs therefore transforms their works into engines of their own destruction”.

The guild and authors are seeking a ban on the use of copyrighted books to train language models “without express permission”, as well as damages.

OpenAI is already the subject of other similar lawsuits, including a group action by computer engineers which also attacks Microsoft, its main investor, and the GitHub platform. The same goes for Stability AI, Midjourney and DeviantArt, which are under attack from illustration artists.

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