Sept 11 (Reuters) – A group of U.S. authors, including Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, have sued OpenAI in federal court in San Francisco, alleging the Microsoft-backed program misused their writings to train its popular artificial intelligence-powered chatbot ChatGPT.
Chabon, playwright David Henry Hwang and authors Matthew Klamm, Rachel Louise Snyder and Ayelet Waldman said in their lawsuit Friday that OpenAI copied their works without permission to teach ChatGPT to respond to human text prompts.
Representatives for Chabon referred questions about the lawsuit to the authors’ lawyers. That attorney and representatives for OpenAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.
The lawsuit is at least the third proposed copyright-infringement class action filed by authors against Microsoft-backed OpenAI. Companies including Microsoft ( MSFT.O ), Meta Platforms ( META.O ) and Stability AI have also been sued by copyright owners for using their work in AI training.
OpenAI and other companies have argued that AI training makes fair use of copyrighted material scraped from the Internet.
ChatGPT became the fastest-growing consumer application in history earlier this year, reaching 100 million monthly active users in January before replacing Meta’s Threads app.
The new San Francisco lawsuit states that works such as books, plays, and articles are particularly valuable for training ChatGPT as “the best examples of high-quality, long-form writing.”
The authors alleged that their writings were included in ChatGPT’s training dataset without their permission, arguing that the system could accurately summarize their works and produce text that mimicked their style.
The lawsuit requests an unspecified amount of damages and an order blocking OpenAI’s “unlawful and unfair business practices.”
Blake Britton reports in Washington; Editing by David Barrio and Aurora Ellis
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