Feature stories, news review, opinion & commentary on Artificial Intelligence

The New York Times Throws Down the Gauntlet at OpenAI and Microsoft


The Big Picture In what's shaping up to be a David vs. Goliath story—but who's who?—The New York Times has put its gloves on for a legal smackdown with AI bigwig OpenAI and its deep-pocketed ally, Microsoft. At stake? The nitty-gritty of copyright in the digital age.

The Beef This legal tussle isn't just your run-of-the-mill copyright squabble. OpenAI's brainchild, ChatGPT, has been munching on the Times' content for a while now, using it to spit out those snappy AI responses we've all come to love (or loathe). But the Times isn't having it, alleging that their stories were used without a golden ticket (read: authorization).

OpenAI's Defense? "Fair Use," They Say OpenAI is playing the 'fair use' card, a legal Hail Mary that lets you use copyrighted material without asking first, but only in special cases like research and teaching. Their argument? Scraping the net for the Times' articles is all part of the fair use fun. The Times, however, begs to differ, saying there's nothing "transformative" about using their content to build a rival product.

What the Times Wants The Grey Lady isn’t just asking for a slap on the wrist here. We're talking a call for "billions of dollars" in damages and a Thanos snap to all datasets, including ChatGPT, that feed off their content. Plus, they're miffed about ChatGPT's 'hallucinations'—those moments when the bot gets a bit too creative with facts, allegedly misquoting the Times.

The Ripple Effect This isn't just a spat in a newsroom; it's a potential game-changer for tech and media bigwigs. News publishers, already side-eyeing tech titans for hogging online ad bucks, are on high alert about getting cozy with AI, fearing a repeat of past misadventures with search and social media platforms.

The Sound of Silence from OpenAI and Microsoft As for OpenAI and Microsoft, they're keeping mum on the lawsuit. But don't think OpenAI’s been sitting idle—they’ve been shaking hands with other publishers like AP and Axel Springer, probably trying to dodge more legal bullets.

Why This Is a BFD This isn't just legal drama; it's a watershed moment for AI and copyright law. The outcome could draw the battle lines for how AI juggernauts use copyrighted material, potentially reshaping how AI dances with traditional media.

So, grab your popcorn, folks. This courtroom drama might just redefine the rules of the AI game.