Farukh Kitchlew | Feb 19, 2024 | 0
The Authors Guild writes letter to Leaders of Generative AI
In an unprecedented move, more than 8,500 authors, including renowned literary figures like Carmen Machado and Alexander Chee, have united to take on tech giants such as OpenAI, Alphabet, Meta, IBM, and Microsoft. Their demand? Fair compensation and recognition for their literary creations used in the training of AI systems.
In the letter, the authors accuse the AI industry of exploiting copyrighted works without consent or compensation. These bold authors argue that the AI revolution owes its very existence to their writings. They claim that AI systems like GPT-4, Bard, and LLaMa have consumed and reproduced their work.
“These technologies mimic and regurgitate our language, stories, style, and ideas. Millions of copyrighted books, articles, essays, and poetry provide the ‘food’ for AI systems, endless meals for which there has been no bill,” the letter asserts.
The controversy concerns AI’s training data and the sources used to develop language models. Did they legally license content from publishers, or did they take millions of works from notorious piracy websites? Authors argue that the recent Supreme Court ruling in Warhol v. Goldsmith undermines AI’s fair use defense due to its high commerciality.
AI-generated content is booming, as evidenced by a surge of machine-written books, stories, and even journalism infiltrating the market. But not everyone is convinced of the doomsday scenario painted by the authors. Critics argue that AI’s output lacks the depth and artistry of human-written works, quelling the threat to authors’ livelihoods. They suggest AI-generated content may serve as an appetizer rather than a replacement for the main course of human creativity.
Nevertheless, the financial struggles of authors have been real. AI’s introduction into literature worsened writers’ financial struggles, with many experiencing a sharp decline in income over the past decade. Young and under-represented writers, in particular, face the challenges of making a living from their work.
The authors’ open letter outlines three critical demands to lighten the impact on their profession:
- Obtain Permission: Authors implore AI companies to seek permission before including their copyrighted material in generative AI programs.
- Fair Compensation: The call for fair remuneration for past and ongoing usage of their work in AI programs is mentioned frequently.
- Compensation for AI Output: Authors demand fair compensation for AI-generated content, irrespective of copyright laws.
The question remains as the literary war continues: Will AI giants heed the call to action and recognize their debt to authors? Or Will they embrace AI’s transformative power, risking alienation from the creators who sparked their revolution?
News Source: The Authors Guild