New York Times: Burn AI at the Stake

But be careful what you wish for

Mark Heyer
3 min readJan 6, 2024

December 27, 2023: The New York Times(NYT) filed a massive lawsuit against OpenAI, Microsoft, and the entire industry that we now call artificial intelligence(AI). Their main claim is that the “large language models” (LLMs) that power AI have been trained on copyrighted materials from the New York Times and that GPT4 and other LLMs allegedly may produce verbatim text from NYT copyrighted stories. (the complete text is below)

As a writer, artist, and participant in the information industry for more than 50 years, I am a staunch supporter of copyright protection. However, with the advent of AI, the times have changed, and new rules need to be put in place. This lawsuit could be a necessary part of that process. The bottom line is the definition of fair use and plagiarism.

Be careful what you wish for

However, the NYT lawsuit also demands the destruction of all AI LLMs trained on their content. This Luddite proposition is a direct attack on the entire AI industry. At best, the NYT has alienated the most successful and productive corporations on Earth and the millions of scientists, developers, and entrepreneurs who are building our prosperous future.

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