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OpenAI, triggers the first defamation lawsuit for ChatGPT

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OpenAI, triggers the first defamation lawsuit for ChatGPT
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OpenAI will face the first defamation lawsuit for alleged false information generated by its generative AI platform known as ChatGPT: Mark Walters, a radio host in Georgia, is suing the company for defamation after ChatGPT accused him of facing allegations of fraud and embezzlement of funds from a nonprofit.

This information was generated by the system in response to a request from a journalist named Fred Riehl. Walters filed the lawsuit on June 5 in Gwinnett County Superior Court in Georgia and is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

The cause is relevant because it could actually open a thread in this sense, especially in view of the numerous complaints regarding false information generated by ChatGPT and other chatbots.

These systems, in fact, fail to distinguish fact from fiction and, when information is requested, they often invent dates, facts and figures, especially when called upon to confirm something that the applicant himself suggests to be true.

It is certainly not the first time that ChatGPT has been accused of giving out false information. The lawyer who cited erroneous or non-existent jurisprudential precedents generated by ChatGPT knows this well, and he will now have to answer before the court.

OpenAI, triggers the first defamation lawsuit for ChatGPT

Although OpenAI includes a small warning on ChatGPT’s homepage stating that the system “may occasionally generate incorrect information,” the company also presents ChatGPT as a reliable source of data, describing the system in advertisements as a way to “get answers” and “learn something new.”

The CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman, has stated several times that he prefers ChatGPT, as a learning system, over books. It is not yet clear whether there is a legal basis to hold a company responsible for the false or defamatory information generated by artificial intelligence systems, nor whether this particular case the lawsuit brought by the radio company has solid foundations.

However, Walters’ libel lawsuit filed in Georgia against ChatGPT and OpenAI could certainly pave the way for this kind of situation. According to documents filed with the court, ChatGPT would have created false cases of fraud and embezzlement around Mark Walters, which are also filled with convincing details, but incorrect details.

For example, ChatGPT’s summary stated that Walters was suspected of embezzling more than $5,000,000 in funds from a nonprofit organization called the Second Amendment Foundation. However, Walters was never charged with such crimes.

The case remains to be monitored because OpenAI’s eventual conviction could actually pave the way for numerous other similar cases.

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Vernita Green

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