March 3, 2024

8,000 Authors Demand Compensation From AI Companies for Use of Their Works

  • Over 8,000 authors signed a letter saying the AI ​​industry uses their work without permission.
  • They are telling companies to “mitigate the damage to their profession” caused by generational AI.
  • There has been deeper criticism of AI companies from across the media and entertainment industries.

More than 8,000 authors – including Margaret Atwood and James Patterson – have signed an open letter demanding compensation from AI companies for using their works to train AI without permission.

“Millions of copyrighted books, articles, essays and poetry provide the ‘food’ for AI systems, endless meals for which there is no bill,” the authors wrote in a letter published by the Authors Guild on Tuesday.

The letter is addressed to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, AI Stability CEO Emad Mostaque, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

“As a result of embedding our writings into your systems, a generation of AI threatens to damage our profession by flooding the market with handwritten books, stories and journalism based on our work,” reads the letter.

According to the letter, author earnings have fallen 40% over the past decade, with the median income for full-time writers in 2022 just $23,330, the Authors Guild found after surveying more than 5,700 participants.

The Authors’ Guild says AI technology will make it even harder for writers to make a living.

The letter’s more than 8,000 signatories – including “The Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown and “The Hunger Games” writer Suzanne Collins – are calling on AI companies to “mitigate the damage to our profession” through compensation provide the uses of their writing in the past and future, per letter.

AI systems are trained on large amounts of data, much of which is scraped from the internet. However, it is not clear how legally the companies have obtained permits for this AI training, however. the Wall Street Journal reported.

OpenAI, Google, Meta, Stability AI, IBM, and Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. OpenAI said in a statement to the Journal that ChatGPT is trained on “licensed content, publicly available content, and content created by human AI trainers and users,” adding that the company respects the rights of creators and authors.

The demand of the authors comes among them two lawsuits against OpenAI from authors who accused the company of copyright infringement — including one from Sarah Silverman claiming unauthorized use of her memoir, “The Bedwetter.”

It’s not just these authors who are revealing a collective dissatisfaction with AI companies.

Artistslike Sarah Andersen They’re so worried about being replaced by generational AI, they’ve started using tools to prevent AI from using their work, Insider’s Matthew Loh reported earlier this month.

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