Microsoft Says NY Times Hacked ChatGPT

According to a Monday filing by OpenAI in Manhattan federal court, Microsoft and OpenAI allege that the NY Times hacked ChatGPT to replicate its content.

Microsoft Says NY Times Hacked ChatGPT 1

In an attempt to discredit the New York Times, OpenAI has requested a federal judge to throw out some of the newspaper’s copyright lawsuits against it. The newspaper allegedly “hacked” ChatGPT and other AI systems to provide false evidence for the case.

The Times prompted the technology to replicate its content, according to a Monday filing made by OpenAI in Manhattan federal court, by using “deceptive prompts that blatantly violate OpenAI’s terms of use.”

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“The allegations in the Times’s complaint do not meet its famously rigorous journalistic standards,” OpenAI said. “The truth, which will come out in the course of this case, is that the Times paid someone to hack OpenAI’s products.”

The “hired gun” that OpenAI claims the Times employed to control its systems was not identified and the publication was not charged with violating any anti-hacking legislation.

Requests for comments on the file were not immediately answered by representatives of OpenAI or the New York Times.

In December, The Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, the company’s biggest sponsor, alleging that they had improperly used millions of its stories to train chatbots to answer user queries.

The Times is one of many copyright holders, including associations of writers, visual artists, and music publishers, that have filed lawsuits against tech corporations for allegedly misusing their creations for AI training.

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Tech giants claim that the lawsuits endanger the expansion of the potentially multitrillion-dollar sector and that their AI algorithms fairly utilize copyrighted information.

The crucial question of whether AI training falls under fair use under copyright law has not yet been addressed by courts. Judges have thrown out several infringement claims regarding the output of generative AI systems thus far because there is insufficient proof that content produced by AI is similar to works protected by copyright.

In its complaint, The New York Times listed multiple incidents wherein, when asked, chatbots from OpenAI and Microsoft provided readers with nearly exact snippets of its articles. It claimed that Microsoft and OpenAI were attempting to “free-ride on the Times’s massive investment in its journalism” by developing an alternative to the print publication.

The Times required “tens of thousands of attempts to generate the highly anomalous results,” according to OpenAI’s complaint.

“In the ordinary course, one cannot use ChatGPT to serve up Times articles at will,” OpenAI said.

According to OpenAI’s brief, it and other AI companies would ultimately prevail in their legal battles over the fair-use issue.

“The Times cannot prevent AI models from acquiring knowledge about facts, any more than another news organization can prevent the Times itself from re-reporting stories it had no role in investigating,” OpenAI said.

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