Top US authors sue OpenAI over ChatGPT training

Adgully Bureau |

A group of prominent authors has taken OpenAI to court in federal court in Manhattan, accusing the company of unlawfully utilizing their literary works to train its widely popular AI conversational model ChatGPT.

The group comprises writers such as John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, George Saunders, Jonathan Franzen, and George RR Martin, the writer of "Game of Thrones."  

This class-action lawsuit, filed by the Authors Guild on Tuesday, is the latest in a series of similar suits filed by writers, visual artists, and source code owners against providers of generative AI technologies. In addition to the Microsoft-backed OpenAI, there are parallel lawsuits in progress against Meta Platforms and Stability AI, centered around the data utilized for training their respective AI systems.

OpenAI and its defenders of AI argue that their utilization of data gleaned from the treasure-trove of the internet falls under the gambit of fair use, as per the US copyright law.

The lawsuit alleges that the datasets deployed by OpenAI to train its large language model in response to human prompts comprised of text from the authors' books which may have been taken from online "pirate" book sources.

An OpenAI spokesperson stated that it 'respects' authors' rights and is having productive conversations "with many creators around the world, including the Authors Guild."