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Artists, copyright law, and the battle over artificial intelligence

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: In this photo illustration, the logo to the OpenAI "Dall-E" AI image generation app is seen on a laptop screen on February 03, 2023 in London, England. OpenAI, an artificial intelligence startup based in San Francisco, is also behind the text generation program ChatGPT. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: In this photo illustration, the logo to the OpenAI "Dall-E" AI image generation app is seen on a laptop screen on February 03, 2023 in London, England. OpenAI, an artificial intelligence startup based in San Francisco, is also behind the text generation program ChatGPT. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Tech companies have spent billions of dollars this year alone investing in the future of generative artificial intelligence.  

Generative AI apps likeChatGPT, Stable  Diffusion and Bard, deliver brand new text, images and code results – of comparable quality to human outputs – from user prompts. 

But have you ever wondered how an AI bot knows how to process a user’s request? 

It gets trained, using millions of data points – like books, poems, photos, illustrations and song lyrics – from all over the internet,including copyrighted material. 

In recent months, several authors have sued companies like Meta and OpenAI, alleging that the companies used their copyrighted works to train their generative AI models, all without permission or compensation.

It’s an issue of concern for many who work creative jobs; from authors, to musicians, voice actors and graphic designers.

What’sto come of the legal battles between creatives and AI companies?What role doescopyright law play in shaping the future of artificial intelligence? 

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Lauren Hamilton