Companies that have created generative AI systems like OpenAI and Microsoft's ChatGPT and Google's Bard are built by scraping oceans' worth of information from the internet and feeding that data into training algorithms that teach the generative AI systems.
The Big Tech companies that go about doing this are very open about how they use the data they scrape without compensation, claiming that it is legal for them to do so because it is "publicly available" information.
OpenAI also said in a statement that it respects the rights of creators and authors and that many creative professionals use ChatGPT for their work.
The pushback against this operating mode has started a battle between tech giants and creatives over whether and how the creators of content from which these AI tools learn should be compensated. (Related: Generative AI could replace up to 300 million mostly white-collar jobs worldwide.)
Creatives in the United States are not taking what they perceive as an unconsented theft of their work lightly. Currently, AI companies face at least 10 major lawsuits from individuals and corporations accusing them of illegally scraping their data from the internet to train their chatbots.
Comedian Sarah Silverman joined authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey in filing lawsuits against OpenAI and Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, for training their AI models on illegally obtained copies of their books that were captured and left on the internet through "shadow library" websites like Bibliotik, Library Genesis and Z-Library. Authors Mona Awad and Paul Tremblay also filed a similar lawsuit against OpenAI.
The public outcry against generative AI systems has also been broadly negative.
In early July, over 9,000 authors, including James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, Jodi Picoult and Jonathan Franzen, signed an open letter from The Authors Guild. They called out the "inherent injustice" in generative AI companies, which exploit the work of writers without their consent or compensation. The letter demands that tech giants obtain the consent of writers to use their work and to compensate them fairly.
Similarly, news publishers like Wall Street Journal parent News Corp and IAC, the owner of the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Politico, have called the unlicensed use of their content copyright violations and are currently in discussions with tech companies regarding how they might be paid for the use of their content in AI training.
Social discussion and news aggregation platform Reddit, with over 50 million active monthly users, has already begun charging AI companies for access to its content. The labor unions the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild have also raised concerns with Hollywood studios about the possibility that their likenesses could be copied by AI, leading to the elimination of their jobs.
The lawsuits and public outcry could force companies to build licensing into future data-collection practices or require payment retroactive for copyright material used to train their generative AI systems. Courts could even require the deletion of models that were already built on top of such data, which could set generative AI work back by years if not decades.
"The data rebellion that we're seeing across the country is society's way of pushing back against this idea that Big Tech is simply entitled to take any and all information from any source whatsoever and make it their own," said Ryan Clarkson, the founder of a law firm behind two class-action lawsuits against Google and OpenAI.
Learn more about the fight against the encroachment of AI on American jobs at CyberWar.news.
Watch this video and learn more about how the endgame of generative AI tech is for it to be successfully used by intelligence services and the military to warp public perception in the name of national security.