Thousands of writers, including Nora Roberts, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Michael Chabon, and Margaret Atwood, have signed an open letter urging AI companies like OpenAI and Meta to stop using their work without permission or compensation. The letter, organized by The Authors Guild, highlights the unfairness of AI companies using copyrighted material to develop their technologies without compensating the authors.
The letter emphasizes that AI technologies heavily rely on authors’ language, stories, style, and ideas. It states that millions of copyrighted books, articles, essays, and poetry serve as the foundation for AI systems, yet authors have not received any compensation for their contributions. The authors argue that it is only fair for AI companies to compensate them for using their writings, as without them, AI would be limited and banal.
The open letter is addressed to AI companies such as OpenAI, Meta, Microsoft, Alphabet, IBM, and Stability AI. It calls on these companies to obtain permission for the use of copyrighted material in their generative AI programs and to fairly compensate writers for both past and ongoing use of their works. The letter also urges fair compensation for the use of authors’ works in AI output, regardless of whether the outputs infringe upon current laws.
The Authors Guild, the largest professional organization for writers in the United States, has been actively advocating for the rights of authors in the face of AI technologies. The guild is also lobbying for legislation to regulate the use of generative AI and protect authors’ rights. However, concrete legislation and regulation have yet to be implemented.
The letter from The Authors Guild is part of a larger effort by the arts community to address the impact of AI on creative industries. Hollywood actors and writers are currently on strike over various issues, including the role of AI in filmmaking. Authors have also filed a lawsuit against OpenAI for alleged misuse of their work to train its chatbot ChatGPT.
The open letter and the collective efforts of authors aim to ensure that writers are fairly compensated for their work and that the writing profession can continue to thrive in the age of AI.