Google Facing Lawsuit for Misusing User Data to Train AI

Google Facing Lawsuit for Misusing User Data to Train AI

News by Nikola DjuricNikola Djuric
Published: July 12, 2023

Amid the accelerating expansion of the AI industry, Google has become the latest U.S. tech giant to face a class-action lawsuit over allegations it misused the personal data of its users to train its AI models.

The lawsuit, filed by Clarkson Law Firm in a district court in the Northern District of California, accused Google of stealing web-scraped and private user data to improve its AI-powered products.

It includes 10 complaints that refer to violating competition regulations and the business and professional code. The suit claims negligence, invasion of privacy, theft, conversion, unjust enrichment, and copyright infringement.

“…Google has been secretly stealing everything ever created and shared on the internet by hundreds of millions of Americans. Google has taken all our personal and professional information, our creative and copywritten works, our photographs, and even our emails – virtually the entirety of our digital footprint – and is using it to build commercial artificial intelligence products like Bard,” the lawsuit read.

Google Bard is an AI chatbot similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat. It’s a generative and conversational chatbot that can help with creative tasks, explain complex topics, and generally distill information from various internet sources.

Bard was trained on a massive dataset of text and code, which it uses to generate human-like text responses. However, it isn’t available in many countries worldwide yet and currently supports only three languages – English, Korean, and Japanese.

OpenAI, Meta Also Faced Similar Lawsuits 

ChatGPT creator OpenAI was sued for allegedly misappropriating massive amounts of personal data from the internet to develop its products.

In end-June, a proposed class-action suit claimed that OpenAI resorted to “theft” to systematically scrape 300 billion words from the internet without user consent, including personal information.

The data was then reportedly used to develop products that can generate human-like language and can be used for a wide range of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and text generation.

At the same time, Facebook parent Meta Platforms was sued by a group of authors for allegedly stealing their work to train its AI model LLaMa, a competitor to OpenAI’s large language models (LLMs).

Comedian Sarah Silverman, along with authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey, sued both Meta and OpenAI in a U.S. District Court claiming that the two companies violated their copyright by using illegally obtained datasets.

Separately, another lawsuit was filed against Meta in which authors argued their books were included in the datasets used to train LLaMA, as they believe the datasets were obtained illegally.

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Calls For Regulating AI Are Increasing 

Amid the new challenges, numerous U.S. tech leaders called for regulating the industry, warning of potential risks to humanity if the situation gets out of control.

Addressing the World AI Conference (WAIC) event hosted by China last week, Tesla and Twitter owner Elon Musk once again called for a global tightening of the oversight of artificial intelligence.

Musk warned that accelerating AI developments could lead to AI becoming significantly smarter than humans soon, stressing governments worldwide should be worried about the uncontrolled expansion of the industry.

On the other hand, OpenAI decided to address potential issues directly. Also last week, OpenAI confirmed it will be creating a new Superalignment team dedicated to managing security risks over the next four years.

“The vast power of superintelligence could also be very dangerous and could lead to the disempowerment of humanity or even human extinction,” OpenAI warned in a blog post.

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