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Looming fights over copyright in AI are likely to set the new technology’s course in 2024 faster than legislation or regulation.

Driving the news: The New York Times filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft, claiming their AI systems’ “widescale copying” constitutes copyright infringement.

The big picture: After a year of lawsuits from creators protecting their works from being used by generative AI tools, the new year could see significant rulings that alter the progress of AI innovation.

Why it matters: The copyright decisions coming down the pike – over the use of copyrighted material in AI development and the status of AI-generated works – are crucial to the technology’s future and could determine winners and losers in the market.

What they’re saying:

  • Copyright owners are “lining up to take whacks at generative AI” and 2024 will determine if there is “money inside” for them.
  • If training AI models is ruled as copyright infringement, it could “have a really significant impact” and “steer innovation” based on legal technicalities rather than societal benefit.
  • However, some believe copyright law can adapt to the AI world, with providers needing to prevent infringement by summarizing rather than reproducing copyrighted works.

The bottom line: Copyright law may not be the right tool to address the broader societal impacts of AI, as it was not built to regulate issues like privacy, labor displacement, or dangerous content. Overreliance on copyright could limit AI development to only the largest players.

From ChatGPT to Gemini: how AI is rewriting the internet - The Verge

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