NY Times Lawsuit Unveils Dark Side of AI
In a bid to secure its lofty perch in the media hierarchy, the New York Times has thrown a legal tantrum at Microsoft and OpenAI, claiming copyright infringement and accusing the tech giants of posing an existential threat to the free press and society. Because, clearly, the pen is mightier than the silicon chip.
Breaking new ground as the first American media organization to point fingers in this AI saga, the Times fears the impending AI takeover of media, where robots might snatch the writing quills from the hands of real-life human wordsmiths.
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According to the Times, Microsoft and OpenAI are guilty of inflicting "billions of dollars in statutory and actual damages" by daring to copy and use the newspaper's uniquely "valuable" works. They're not just asking for compensation; they want chatbot models and training data obliterated – a virtual bonfire of the vanities.
The lawsuit accuses the defendants of attempting to "free-ride" on the Times' massive journalism investment, suggesting that Microsoft and OpenAI are using their content to create products that substitute for the Times and steal audiences away. Move over, Pulitzer; it's a battle for clicks.
The suit throws shade at the ChatGPT-powered Browse with Bing product, claiming it shamelessly replicated a Wirecutter review without attribution. It doesn't stop there – referral links were allegedly removed, causing the Times a loss of revenue.
Microsoft and OpenAI apparently have a thing for Times journalism, placing "particular emphasis" on it due to its "perceived reliability and accuracy." I mean, who wouldn't trust the Times implicitly? This guy for one...
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The complaint predicts a doomsday scenario where if news organizations can't protect their independent journalism, a journalistic vacuum will emerge, one that even the mighty computer brains can't fill. Society, brace yourself for the enormous cost of less journalism – the apocalypse is nigh.
Attempts at an "amicable resolution" in April were about as successful as a cat herding contest, with Microsoft and OpenAI refusing to play ball. Other media outlets, wiser perhaps, have inked agreements with OpenAI over content use, but the Times prefers a courtroom drama. Enter Susman Godfrey, the law firm with a flair for class-action lawsuits, representing the Times in this high-stakes showdown.
Microsoft's public declaration of a $13 billion investment in OpenAI adds another layer to this digital soap opera. Commenters, ever the comedians, suggest the Times is just "jealous that the AI bot can lie better than them." Ouch.
In a philosophical reflection on AI's potential, another commentator muses, "Kind of tells you all you need to know as to just how intelligent AIs are going to be if all they do is regurgitate BS off the internet." Well said, Internet Philosopher. Well said.
The danger of AI is that it's essentially plagiarizing human-created content. Essentially, companies like OpenAI are using humanity to amplify their technology, without crediting sources or paying out royalties. This is why I'm focusing on my new social media platform Pickax on using technology to amplify humanity, not the other way around. This will be a constitutionally protected free speech platform not beholden to Big Tech. Sign up today!