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Microsoft and OpenAI are sued by the New York Times for ‘billions’

The New York Times, a US news outlet, is suing OpenAI, the company that owns ChatGPT, claiming that the company violated its copyright when training the system.

Microsoft is also named as a defendant in the case, which claims the companies should pay “billions of dollars” in damages.

Large language models (LLMs), like ChatGPT, “learn” by analyzing vast amounts of data, most of which are sourced online.

Microsoft and OpenAI have been contacted by the BBC for comments.

The lawsuit alleges that ChatGPT is now in competition with the New York Times as a reliable information source since “millions” of stories published by the newspaper were allegedly used without its consent to make the tool smarter.

It claims that ChatGPT may occasionally provide “verbatim excerpts” from New York Times stories when questioned about current affairs; these cannot be read without a subscription.

The complaint claims that because of this, readers can access New York Times material without having to pay for it, which means the publication is missing out on subscription income and website ad hits.

It also provided an example of how the Bing search engine, which uses ChatGPT for some of its features, pulled results from a website owned by the New York Times without providing a link to the story or the referral links that bring in money.

Microsoft has made over $10 billion (£7.8 billion) in OpenAI investments.

The New York Times attempted to reach “an amicable resolution” with Microsoft and OpenAI in April but was unable, according to the lawsuit, which was submitted on Wednesday to a federal court in Manhattan.

several lawsuits

It occurs one month following a chaotic period at OpenAI during which co-founder and CEO Sam Altman was fired over the course of a few days before being hired back.

Insiders in the industry were surprised when he was fired, and employees threatened to resign in droves if he wasn’t brought back.

Apart from the internal problems, the company is also dealing with several lawsuits that were brought in 2023.

A collection of US authors, including John Grisham and George R.R. Martin, the authors of Game of Thrones, filed a similar copyright infringement lawsuit in September.

That came after comedian Sarah Silverman filed a lawsuit in July, and that same month, writers Margaret Atwood and Philip Pullman signed an open letter requesting that AI companies pay them for using their creations.

A group of computer professionals has also filed a lawsuit against OpenAI, Microsoft, and the programming website GitHub. They claim that their code was used without their consent to train an AI named Copilot.

Along with these legal actions, text-to-image generators Stability AI and Midjourney were sued by artists in January on the grounds that they can only produce images if they are trained on copyrighted artwork. Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence that can produce media based on text prompts.

These lawsuits are still pending in court.

Also Read – According to the UK Supreme Court, Artificial Intelligence cannot patent inventions

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