ChatGPT creator OpenAI and Microsoft are facing a class action lawsuit over alleged privacy and copyright law violations. Concerns about privacy and other issues have slowly crept into OpenAI’s radar this year, but now it seems that a law firm has decided to take on the AI pioneers.
While speaking to Yahoo Finance Live, Ryan Clarkson, Clarkson’s Founder and Managing Partner discussed his lawsuit. While speaking, Mr. Clarkson first emphasized that “AI presents one of the greatest opportunities and the greatest challenges in human history. This is a transformative technology that can do much good in the world, from curing diseases and solving climate change.”
But he noted clearly that there needed to be accountability in how AI is used. That’s because in his view, Microsoft and OpenAI’s push to scale the technology has “created an ‘AI arms race’ and they’ve released this untested technology into the world without appropriate safeguards“.
To make his point, he pointed to Dr. Geoffrey Hinton’s worries related to AI advancements and social costs. Back in May, the Godfather of AI, left his position with Google so he could be more open about his concerns with AI. In short, he said, “Right now, they’re not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be.”
For the lawyer, he positions the risks associated with uncontrolled AI with that of nuclear war and global pandemics. So his lawsuit is seeking a freeze on commercial access and development of AI until three conditions are met. These include a guarantee of privacy, property rights, and the safety of normal users that is also using a system that takes into account values and ethics.
To help prove his case, Mr. Clarkson points to how AI models are trained. “Theft of personal information at scale is not a lawful business model. And that’s exactly what these companies have done. They’ve stolen the personal information of hundreds of millions of Americans, including children of all ages, their creative works, their professional works, their photographs, all of it used to feed an AI model…“.
He also points to how due to web scraping, individuals online are unable to “opt-out” of having their data used to train AI models. These are similar concerns in the EU, which saw Italy ban ChatGPT earlier this year. Their counterparts in Germany were also considering a similar move.
Toward the end of the interview, Mr. Clarkson lays it all out in relation to individual data, and the idea of individual users being compensated for having their data used to train models which are turning profits. “Big data, and our personal information is big business and it has value. And what we’re seeking is compensation for everyone whose personal information was stolen to train these AI models, which would be worthless without it.”
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