Google was hit with a wide-ranging lawsuit on Tuesday alleging the tech giant scraped data from millions of users without their consent and violated copyright laws in order to train and develop its artificial intelligence products, CNN reported.
The proposed class action suit against Google, its parent company Alphabet, and Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind was filed in federal court in California on Tuesday, and was brought by Clarkson Law Firm, CNN reported. The firm previously filed a similar smaller suit against ChatGPT-maker OpenAI last month.
The complaint alleges that Google “has been secretly stealing everything ever created and shared on the internet by hundreds of millions of Americans” and using this data to train its AI products, such as its chatbot Bard. The complaint also claims Google has taken “virtually the entirely of our digital footprint,” including “creative and copywrite works” to build its AI products.
The lawsuit comes as a new crop of AI tools have gained tremendous attention in recent months for their ability to generate work and images in response to user prompts. The large language models underpinning this new technology are able to do this by training on vast troves of online data.
The suit is seeking injunctive relief in the form of a temporary freeze on commercial access to and commercial development of Google’s generative AI tools like Bard. It is also seeking unspecified damages and payments as financial compensation to people whose data was allegedly misappropriated by Google. The firm says it has lined up eight plaintiffs, including a minor.
SlashGear reported that the news regarding Google comes only days after OpenAI was slapped with (another) lawsuit involving its models – in that case, the GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 upon which the ChatGPT name is based. Authors including comedian Sarah Silverman accused OpenAI – via the lawsuit – of violating their book copyrights by including them in training data without permission. Even more, that lawsuit suggested that OpenAI may have used illegal shadow libraries to source the books.
When big companies fight with lawsuits, there are many people indirectly swept up in the matter who don’t have the resources to individually challenge tech giants, SlashGear reported. It’s no surprise, then, that Google is facing a proposed class action suit that wants among other things, for the company to hit pause on providing commercial access to its AI models.
In my opinion, Google (and other big companies) have absolutely no right to steal content from creators, especially because the company does not ask for permission to use work that doesn’t belong to them, nor does it financially compensate the creators. This is why I have stopped posting my artwork publicly online.