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Github copilot class action lawsuit – Uncharted waters for generative AI

  • ajitjaokar 

The last few weeks have been bad for tech

But one announcement caught my attention

It has not been so widely covered

But in a previous blog here, I had suggested that it was a risk for generative AI because it was entering uncharted legal waters

A class action lawsuit has been filed against github copilot which says

By training their AI systems on public GitHub repositories (though based on their public statements, possibly much more) we contend that the defendants have violated the legal rights of a vast number of creators who posted code or other work under certain open-source licenses on GitHub. A set of 11 popular open-source licenses that all require attribution of the author’s name and copyright, including the MIT license, the GPL, and the Apache license. 

Thus the issue seems to be that of attribution

Ratter the lack of attribution in this case …

It is certainly an interesting proposition 

A related case is more complex as I explained in a previous post i.e. the AI vegan that Large language models essentially scrape the net for training.

But how ethical is this to the creators?

As such, each image in the training set contributes only a tiny amount of information to a numeric weight within the deep neural network.

But… the people who created these images did not give their explicit consent. 

And the model can be seen as a direct threat to their livelihoods. 

This is a far bigger threat than mere attribution because the art created in this form by the artist was not intended for use for free

And companies who train large language models can afford to pay – every time they train (and indeed retrain!) a model – they would need to pay the original creators of the content used to train the model.

We watch this development with interest since its indeed uncharted waters

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/sea-beach-ocean-tropical-paradise-1284467/