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ChatGPT’s first 12 months marked by existential worry, lawsuits and boardroom drama



OpenAI’s ChatGPT is, by the numbers, the preferred synthetic intelligence (AI) instrument on the planet. It was launched a 12 months in the past, on Nov. 30, 2022, and catapulted to 100 million month-to-month customers inside its first three months.

On its one-year anniversary, ChatGPT now boasts 100 million weekly customers, and according to Google Traits information, it’s at the moment on the peak of its international recognition.

In simply 12 months, ChatGPT’s existence has contributed to narratives surrounding the extinction of humankind, accusations that OpenAI constructed it by allegedly committing mass-scale copyright infringement, and a tumultuous CEO firing and rehiring that pundits are nonetheless attempting to grasp.

ChatGPT’s existential menace to humanity

In March 2023, 1000’s of researchers, CEOs, lecturers and pundits concerned within the discipline of AI signed an open letter calling on AI developers around the world to pause the event of any AI programs which are extra highly effective than GPT-4 for at the very least six months, sharing issues that “human-competitive intelligence can pose profound dangers to society and humanity,” amongst different issues.

Whereas the efficacy and viability of a world, self-imposed pause on AI improvement continues to be being debated, the letter had virtually no discernable impression on the trade. OpenAI and its rivals, reminiscent of Anthropic, Google and Elon Musk — one of many signatories advocating for the pause — continued to develop their respective AI endeavors all through 2023.

Within the case of Musk, his chatbot and self-professed ChatGPT competitor, Grok, was launched almost six months to the day after the billionaire mogul signed the letter.

A lawsuit’s existential menace to ChatGPT

A class-action lawsuit involving a group of authors, together with John Grisham and George R.R. Martin, obtained underway in September. The end result of this explicit case may, ultimately, have an outsized impression on the whole discipline of AI.

The authors are suing OpenAI for alleged copyright infringement. They declare the corporate violated copyright by coaching ChatGPT on their works with out crediting, licensing or permission. In doing so, argue the attorneys representing them, OpenAI jeopardized their livelihood. They search damages of as much as $150,000 for each bit of labor the place copyright is infringed.

Associated: Amazon launches ‘Q’ — a ChatGPT competitor purpose-built for business

Why it issues: Whereas the fines may doubtlessly be substantial relying on what number of particular person books the plaintiffs allege have been unlawfully used to coach ChatGPT, the extra vital concern might be whether or not OpenAI and different corporations can proceed coaching on information scraped from the web.

It’s seemingly past the scope of this case to find out the way forward for ChatGPT, however a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs may set a precedent that finally restricts an organization’s capacity to monetize publicly accessible information. This might, hypothetically, function a poison tablet for big language fashions as, by and enormous, the dimensions of a mannequin’s information set has to date been among the many most determinant components governing its capabilities.

Who’s the boss (at OpenAI)?

In the meantime, OpenAI’s board seems to have dedicated 2023’s greatest unforced error in govt hiring and firings.

Within the span of solely 4 days, the corporate’s board of administrators managed to fire CEO and cofounder Sam Altman, exchange him with chief know-how officer Mira Murati, replace Murati with former Twitch boss Emmett Shear, after which rehire Sam Altman to replace Shear amid a board shakeup.