ChatGPT and OpenAI a San Francisco-based AI start-up have been at the center of the news for quite a while now, with the massive success of the former chatbot and how widely it started to be used.

But along with the popularity, people have also been raising serious questions about the authenticity of the platform, the company, and the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in people’s daily lives without much regulations and rules.

The fear of AI taking over many human aspects and affecting not just employment and more but also safety, cybersecurity and more have been discussed on a more frequent basis.

Now it seems that OpenAI the parent company of ChatGPT and Microsoft its main backer have been sued for almost $3 billion in a 150-page long class action lawsuit.

What Is This OpenAI Lawsuit?

Just as a starter, OpenAI was founded in 2015 by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Greg Brockman (Cloudera) and entrepreneur Rebekah Mercer. Eventually, Wojciech Zaremba, Ilya Sutskever, and John Schulman also joined in the founding of the then non-profit research company.

Musk though resigned from his position in the company in February 2018 although he is still mentioned on the leadership page of OpenAI and allegedly is a donor.

Microsoft’s involvement with OpenAI has existed since 2019 when they invested almost $1 billion into the company and in January of 2023 it announced $10 billion investment spanning across years making it its official corporate partner and biggest customer.

Currently, Sam Altman serves as the CEO of OpenAI and the most-known face of the company which is embroiled in a pretty massive lawsuit.

According to reports the lawsuit was filed on 28th June 2023 in the federal court of San Francisco, California in the United States by sixteen anonymous plaintiffs and are represented by US-based Clarkson Law Firm, P.C. (professional corporation).

The lawsuit claims that OpenAI “scraped 300 billion words from the internet” without getting consent or registering as a data broker.

It claims that “Instead of following established procedures for the acquisition and usage of personal information, the Defendants resorted to theft. They systematically scraped 300 billion words from the internet, including ‘books, articles, websites, and posts,’ which also included personal information obtained without consent.”

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It also alleges that AI company still “unlawfully collect and feed additional personal data from millions of unsuspecting consumers worldwide… in order to continue developing and training the products” touching upon the information that AI models use as prompts.

The complaint mentioned OpenAI’s tools like language models GPT 3.5 and 4.0, image model Dall-E, and text-to-speech model Vall-E and how the complainants “did not consent to the use of [their] private information by third parties [to train AI] in this manner.”

It also accuses the company of stealing “personal data from across this wide swath of online applications and platforms to train the products.”

It is said that OpenAI used several sources like Wikipedia articles, popular books, social media posts, and even “explicit content of niche genres” in order to train their AI platforms but all this was done without getting any permission from the content creators.

Among the data alleged of being stolen includes names, contact details, email addresses, payment information, social media information, chat log data, usage data, analytics, and cookies. The case further stated that “Defendants have been unjustly enriched by their theft of personal information as its billion-dollar AI business, including ChatGPT and beyond, was built on harvesting and monetizing Internet users’ personal data.”

“Thus, Plaintiffs and the Classes have a right to disgorgement and/or restitution damages representing the value of the stolen data and/or their share of the profits Defendants earned thereon,” it finally claims.

The plaintiffs are apparently asking for a “class-action certification and damages of $3 billion” although the amount could change based on how the case proceeds and what the court finds.

But currently, the lawsuit is asking for the following things:

1. disclose all the data OpenAI is collecting and how it is being used.

2. compensate the complainants following a code of ethical principles of the data stolen from them.

3. internet users be allowed to stop any data collection if they so wish for and illegal data collection be stopped.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Firstpost, The Washington Post, The Indian Express

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: OpenAI Getting Sued, OpenAI, chatgpt, OpenAI chatgpt, OpenAI sued data, OpenAI lawsuit, OpenAI data steal, openai founder sam altman, OpenAI owner, OpenAI founder, OpenAI ceo, ChatGPT openAI sued, OpenAI ceo news, openai founders

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