Microsoft and OpenAI Facing Lawsuit Over Alleged Misuse of Authors' Work in AI Training

As of now, representatives for Microsoft and OpenAI have not responded to requests for comments regarding the filed complaint.

Microsoft and OpenAI Facing Lawsuit Over Alleged Misuse of Authors' Work in AI Training
Photo by Turag Photography / Unsplash

Manhattan federal court received a lawsuit on Friday, naming OpenAI and its major supporter Microsoft as defendants. Authors Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gage filed a proposed class action, asserting that their nonfiction works were wrongfully used to train artificial intelligence models, including the widely used ChatGPT chatbot and various AI-driven services, according to report by Reuters.

In the lawsuit, Basbanes and Gage accused the companies of copyright infringement, alleging that excerpts from their books were utilized as part of the training data for OpenAI's GPT large language model.

This legal action is part of a series of lawsuits involving writers, both from fiction and nonfiction backgrounds, who have taken tech companies to court over claims that their intellectual property was employed to train AI programs without their consent or compensation.

The recent lawsuit follows a similar one from The New York Times, which sued OpenAI and Microsoft in the preceding week over the alleged use of its journalists' work in training AI applications.

Both Basbanes and Gage have journalism backgrounds. Their legal representative, Michael Richter, expressed deep concern, labeling it "outrageous" that their literary works were utilized to fuel a burgeoning billion-dollar industry without any remuneration.

The lawsuit exemplifies the ongoing debate around the ethical use of intellectual property in AI development and the responsibilities tech companies have toward content creators whose work serves as foundational data for training these advanced AI systems.