Over 8,000 authors, including Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists Jennifer Egan, Michael Chabon, and Louise Erdrich, have collectively addressed an open letter to leaders in the field of generative AI, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg. The letter underscores the need for obtaining consent, providing credit, and ensuring compensation for the use of copyrighted materials for AI training.
The Authors Guild, representing these authors, argues that AI technologies like GPT-4 and Google Bard owe their existence to the writers’ work. The accusation is directed at companies profiting off the authors’ creative efforts by integrating their work into AI systems, thereby mirroring their language, stories, style, and ideas, without their consent or compensation.
This group of acclaimed authors is demanding just compensation for their contributions, stating, “You’re spending billions of dollars to develop AI technology. It is only fair that you compensate us for using our writings, without which AI would be banal and extremely limited.”
The letter further expresses concern over the potential threats to the profession posed by generative AI. The authors argue that the proliferation of machine-written books, stories, and journalism based on their work could flood the market and endanger their jobs.
The Authors Guild also highlighted a notable 40% decline in writers’ income over the past decade, attributing some of this decrease to AI’s intrusion into their profession. The letter ends with a plea to these tech CEOs to obtain advance permission for using copyrighted work and to compensate writers fairly for past and ongoing use of their work.