Ever heard of the Omegaverse? It seems like OpenAI's models are already deeply familiar.
In case you're not clued in, the Omegaverse is a niche subgenre of speculative erotic fanfiction that has developed its own complicated set of conventions and terminologies.
But as Wired reports, fanfiction writers were startled when they realized that a writing assistant app called Sudowrite, which makes use of "several variants" of OpenAI's GPT-3 — and, in our testing, the GPT-3-based ChatGPT — was suddenly spitting out incredibly specific Omegaverse-related smut.
Per the report, the integration churned out a story that included something called "knotting," an Omegaverse term that refers to a moment in which a male "Alpha's" penis locks itself inside a vagina during sex.
OpenAI has famously refused to say exactly what data it trains its large language models on, but given the damning evidence, the data clearly includes at least some Omegaverse-related works.
It's a fascinating glimpse into the vast amount of training data OpenAI's models are trained on — and how the tech is starting to affect authors, whose work is being scraped by those models without being compensated.
Though Omegaverse authors often aren't looking to make money from their graphic labor of love, they understandably don't think it's right that someone else might — especially if they're using AI chatbots like Sudowrite to generate fanfiction.
And writers have been ringing the alarm bells for quite some time now.
"This is particularly concerning as many for-profit AI writing programs... utilized GPT-3," a Reddit user called cafethereseu, who called attention to the issue in a Reddit thread roughly six months ago, wrote in an email to fanfic repository Archive of Our Own.
"These AI apps take the works which we create for fun and fandom," the email continued, "not only to gain profit, but also to one day replace human writing."
But is that really the end goal of apps like Sudowrite? For his part, Sudowrite CTO James Yu appeared to be unfazed by the issue.
"For me, it highlights the things I don't know," he told Wired. "In every one of these models is millions of other latent spaces that I just never encounter. It's almost like an endless ocean."
Yu had a convenient answer when asked whether he had any plans to compensate folks like the ripped-off Omegaverse writers.
"I'd love for there to be a simple way to do fair compensation for content that was used to train GPT-3, but unfortunately, there is no mechanism that OpenAI provides for that," he told Wired, adding that he'd be open to the idea.
"I would love to get to a place where we could have a totally opt-in model and everyone is compensated for that," Yu responded. "I just don't think that's possible right now."
Fanfiction writers, however, aren't convinced such a future will ever materialize.
"Even if it's just plain smut, there's a human element there and it's someone creating something for their enjoyment and they want to share that hard work with people," Hayley Krueger, an Omegavese author, told Wired. "It's stealing that."