A group of US authors, including Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, have sued OpenAI in federal court in San Francisco, accusing the Microsoft-backed program of misusing their writing to train its popular artificial intelligence-based chatbot ChatGPT.
Chabon, playwright David Henry Hwang and authors Matthew Klam, Rachel Louise Snyder and Ayelet Waldman they said in their lawsuit on Friday that OpenAI copied their works without permission to teach ChatGPT to respond to human text input.
Chabon’s representatives referred questions about the lawsuit to the authors’ attorneys. These lawyers and representatives for OpenAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
The lawsuit is at least the third proposed copyright infringement class action lawsuit that authors have filed against Microsoft-backed OpenAI. Companies including Microsoft, Meta Platforms and Stability AI have also been sued by copyright holders over the use of their work in AI training.
OpenAI and other companies have argued that AI training makes fair use of copyrighted material from the Internet.
ChatGPT became the fastest-growing consumer app in history earlier this year, reaching 100 million monthly active users in January before being replaced by Meta’s Threads app.
The new San Francisco lawsuit says works such as books, plays and articles are particularly valuable to ChatGPT’s education as “best examples of high-quality long-form writing.”
The authors claimed that their texts were included in ChatGPT’s training dataset without their permission, arguing that the system could accurately summarize their works and generate texts that mimicked their style.
The lawsuit sought unspecified damages and an order blocking OpenAI’s “unlawful and unfair business practices.”