In a letter to AI companies, thousands of authors have signed on to demand that they cease using copyrighted works without permission. The letter to the CEOs of OpenAI, Meta, Microsoft, Alphabet, IBM, and Stability AI has the support of renowned authors including Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Franzen, James Patterson, Suzanne Collins, and Viet Thanh Nguyen.
The largest professional writers’ organisation in the United States, the Authors Guild, organised the letter, in which the signatories draw attention to the “inherent injustice in using our works as part of your AI systems without our consent, credit, or compensation.”
“These technologies mimic and regurgitate our language, stories, style, and ideas. Millions of copyrighted books, articles, essays, and poetry provide the ‘food’ for AI systems, endless meals for which there has been no bill,” the letter says.
“You’re spending billions of dollars to develop AI technology. It is only fair that you compensate us for using our writings, without which AI would be banal and extremely limited,” the letter reads further.
According to the letter, referring in particular to young writers and voices from underrepresented areas, the introduction of AI threatens to tip the scale to make it even more difficult, if not impossible, for writers to earn a living from their profession.
In order to create material that mimics human speech, generative AI models like ChatGPT need enormous amounts of internet data. The letter from the Authors Guild is the newest attack on companies researching AI from the artists community. Numerous issues, including the use of AI in filmmaking, have thousands of Hollywood actors and writers on strike.