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News media versus OpenAI’s ChatGPT

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    1st Sep, 2023


Recently, prominent media outlets like New York Times, Reuters, CNN, and ABC blocked OpenAI due to copyright concerns and potential legal actions.

What does OpenAI do?

  • The company is best known for creating ‘ChatGPT’, which is an AI conversational chatbot.
  • Users can ask questions on just about anything, and ChatGPT will respond pretty accurately with answers, stories and essays.
  • It can even help programmers write software code.

What started the face-off between news outlets and OpenAI?

The reason given by media against OpenAI was;

  • Basis of LLMs: Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT require extensive training data to comprehend human language patterns effectively.
  • Data Collection: Tech giants such as Google, Meta, and OpenAI rely on web-crawlers to gather data from online sources like social media, news articles, and e-books.
  • Privacy and Usage Concerns: News outlets, including The New York Times, reacted against OpenAI's data collection via web-crawlers, blocking access to their content.
  • Training Material: News organizations objected to their published content being used to train AI chat bots without consent.
  • Ethical Implications: The standoff highlights debates on data scraping, copyright, and ethical considerations in AI model training.

Reason for opposing OpenAI by media:

  • No monetary benefits: Search engines like Google or Bing use web crawlers to index websites and present relevant results when users search for topics.
  • The only difference is that search engines represent a mutually beneficial relationship. OpenAI, on the other hand, provides no benefit, monetary or otherwise, to news companies.
  • It simply collects publicly available data and uses it for the company’s own purposes.

What are concerns associated with ‘OpenAI’?

  • Data Usage Rights: The use of data to train AI models raises questions about whether unauthorized usage constitutes a violation of data owner's rights.
  • Financial Feasibility: The financial sustainability of AI endeavors, like OpenAI, hinges on the compensation required for data usage, with a balance to avoid becoming financially unviable.
  • Value of Online Content: The argument arises that while AI models can function without specific sources, an aggregate of diverse content enhances quality.
  • Quality Impact: Widespread denial of data access from media sources could potentially lower the quality of AI-generated content like ChatGPT.
  • Licensing Arrangements: OpenAI's licensing deal with The Associated Press exemplifies the willingness to compensate for data usage, while legal battles with other content creators underscore complexities.
  • Legal Implications: Legal battles over copyright infringement will influence journalism, intellectual property rights, and shape the future of AI development.

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