It looks like that OpenAI has been hit with its first defamation lawsuit due to a response from ChatGPT. The response generated false information against a radio host in Georgia by the name of Mark Walters. Walters is suing OpenAI because ChatGPT falsely stated that he was accused of fraud and embezzlement against a non-profit.
Filed back on the 5th of June in Georgia’s Superior Court of Gwinnett Country, the radio host is seeking unspecified monetary damages. At issue is how ChatGPT generated a response from a third party, a journalist by the name of Fred Riehl.
According to the filing, ChatGPT falsely made claims about Mark Walters which were not true. This isn’t all too dissimilar from the Australian mayor, who was claimed by the LLM back in March to have been involved in criminal activity.
All of this is coming at a time where there are growing complaints against ChatGPT and other chatbots due to information generated. Because LLMs don’t have the ability to independently distinguish what’s true or not when asked for information, there have been frequent reports of incorrect facts given.
Another example of this was back in May when a New York attorney found himself in hot water after using ChatGPT to help him create a legal brief. At issue was the fact that cases cited by ChatGPT didn’t exist. As you’d imagine, the judge in that case wasn’t pleased.
Though OpenAI has the following warning about ChatGPT on its home page, “may occasionally generate incorrect information,” , the company still presents the AI as a source or reliable data. In one example, it uses ad copy claiming that ChatGPT can help you “get answers“.
Due to the rapid development of artificial technology, it’s unknown how this case will play out. This is because there is no real legal precedence in the United States that gives judges guidance on whether or not a company can be held responsible for AI systems generating false or defamatory information.
This is a major reason why there has been calls for AI regulation from a variety of tech leaders, and interest groups such as the U.S Chamber. As of right now, this lawsuit could become a major test to see if the legal system can move forward with cases involving AI without legislative guidance.