The New York Times files lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft

The New York Times has filed a federal lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging copyright infringement and seeking to put an end to the practice of using its stories to train chatbots. The Times claims that the unlawful use of its work by OpenAI and Microsoft threatens its ability to provide its services and could be worth billions of dollars in copyright infringements alone. This lawsuit is part of a larger trend of individuals and publishers attempting to stop OpenAI from using copyrighted material.

Artificial intelligence technology has disrupted numerous industries, including media, as more readers migrate to online platforms. AI companies like OpenAI scrape information available online, including articles published by news organizations, to train generative AI chatbots. These models are also trained on other human-written materials to improve their language and grammar skills. However, they often make mistakes, as illustrated by the Times' claim that OpenAI's GPT-4 falsely attributed product recommendations to the paper's product reviews site, Wirecutter.

OpenAI and other AI companies have attracted significant investments due to the growing interest in the technology. Microsoft, in particular, has a partnership with OpenAI and is its biggest backer, investing billions of dollars into the company. Microsoft's supercomputers power OpenAI's AI research, and the tech giant integrates OpenAI's technology into its products.

The New York Times is not the only entity taking legal action against OpenAI for copyright infringement. Several writers, including comedian Sarah Silverman, have sued the company, claiming that their books were used without permission to train OpenAI's AI models. In June, over 4,000 writers signed a letter accusing AI developers of exploitative practices.

The Times did not specify the damages it is seeking, but it aims to hold OpenAI and Microsoft accountable for the unlawful copying and use of its valuable works. The paper also wants GPT and other large language models or training sets that incorporate its work to be destroyed. The lawsuit follows unsuccessful negotiations between the newspaper and the two companies, where the Times sought fair value for its content and the responsible development of AI technology.

In July, OpenAI and The Associated Press reached a licensing deal for OpenAI to use AP's archive of news stories. The Times, however, claims that it has never given permission for its content to be used for generative AI purposes.


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