OpenAI and Microsoft face lawsuit over unauthorized use of writers’ works in AI training

On Friday, nonfiction writers Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gauge filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against OpenAI and its funding source Microsoft. The authors alleged that the companies improperly utilized their work to train artificial intelligence models, including the widely-used chatbot ChatGPT and other AI-based services.

In a proposed class action, Basbanes and Gage claimed that that copyright infringement had occurred when multiple of their works were included in the training data for OpenAI’s GPT big language model.

This legal challenge is part of a broader trend. The comedian Sarah Silverman and “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin are among the many fiction and nonfiction writers who have sued tech companies, alleging the unauthorized use of their works to train AI programs.

The New York Times also filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI last week. Former journalists Basbanes and Gauge are both represented by attorney Michael Richter, who called it “outrageous” that the corporations were able to use their works to drive a booming billion-dollar industry without providing any compensation.

Representatives for Microsoft and OpenAI did not provide immediate comments on the complaint.