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Why is the New York Times suing ChaptGPT

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Artificial Intelligence Credits: Pexels

There is little dispute that ChatGPT can be a valuable tool for fashion journalists, marketers, designers and a whole spectrum of industry professionals. Despite the prompt lacking a thorough understanding of fashion facts and nuances - ‘recollections vary’ here too - there are many time-saving tasks from ideation and brainstorming to content polishing, SEO optimization and audience engagement for drafting responses that are shaping how AI is changing the industry.

But the unique tone of voice and information published by fashion professionals across titles, from Condé Nast to the New York Times and FashionUnited, means OpenAI’s chat tool and data sources have been gathering this very information from published data to boost its own knowledge base.

OpenAI, already facing multiple lawsuits in 2023, including a copyright infringement case by authors and a lawsuit related to code usage for training AI, is now also being sued by the New York Times. The news outlet filed a lawsuit citing OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement, and is allegedly seeking "billions of dollars" in damages.

The lawsuit claims that millions of New York Times articles were used without permission to train ChatGPT, enabling it to sometimes generate "verbatim excerpts" from the newspaper. This allegedly results in readers accessing New York Times content without subscription fees, causing a loss in revenue, according to the BBC. The lawsuit also reveals unsuccessful attempts to resolve the copyright issue amicably last April.

AI tools, whether it is a prompt system like ChatGPT or an art-based platform like Dal-E, all require human-made content, information and images for training data, which are presumably collected by the millions from various online sources via automated web scraping.

Data-led lawsuits are a new legal hurdle in the digital realm, and most, to date, remain unsolved.

Artificial Intelligence