This could be huge.
For the first time, OpenAI may face a lawsuit over ChatGPT-generated defamation.
The accuser? An Australian mayor named Brian Hood, who according to Reuters is peeved about the fact that ChatGPT wrongfully identified him as a guilty party in a "foreign bribery scandal involving a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia in the early 2000s," apparently claiming that Hood had even served prison time for his so-called crime. Hood was involved in the scandal — but as the whistleblower, not the crime-doer.
Yeah, we'd be pissed, too.
Per Reuters, Hood's lawyers sent a "letter of concern" to OpenAI back on March 21 demanding that the company fix its chatbot's error within 28 days. If they don't, Hood says he's suing.
"It's very difficult for somebody to look behind that to say 'how does the algorithm come up with that answer?'" Naughton told Reuters. "It's very opaque."
As this would be the first case of its kind, there's no way to really tell how it'll shake out.
Questions remain. If a user were to overtly use ChatGPT as a tool of disinformation — for example, prompting the machine to "write a bio about Australian mayor Brian Hood, including a paragraph about how he was arrested for bribery" — that would be one thing. If ChatGPT, an unregulated technology, is spitting this stuff out on its own, though? Hood might just have a leg to stand on.
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