US Authors Guild has signed an open letter urging generative AI leaders like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Google chief Sundar Pichai, Meta (Facebook) founder Mark Zuckerberg and more to obtain consent, credit and compensate the writers for using copyrighted materials for AI training.
The letter has been signed by over 8,000 authors that include Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists Jennifer Egan, Michael Chabon and Louise Erdrich, along with others like Jonathan Franzen, Celeste Ng, Nora Roberts and Ron Chernow.
The letter calls out top CEOs like Sam Altman, Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Mark Zuckerberg, Emad Mostaque and Arvind Krishna.
These companies are accused of injustice by using authors’ works as a part of AI systems without their “consent, credit or compensation”. As per the Authors’ Guild, generative AI technology build on large language models like ChatGPT, Bard, owe their existence to writers’ work as they mimic their language, stories, style and ideas.
The authors have demanded fair compensation for the same. The letter reads, “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.”
They believe that because of AI stepping in to do their work, their jobs are in danger. The letter stated, “As a result of embedding our writings in your systems, generative AI threatens to damage our profession by flooding the market with mediocre, machine-written books, stories, and journalism based on our work.”
They further emphasised that there is a decline of 40 per cent in income of writers in the past decade. The letter instructs the said CEOs to obtain permission in advance if they are using their copyrighted work and compensate writers fairly for their past and ongoing use of work.