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OpenAI is facing a lawsuit in Australia after a regional mayor accused ChatGPT of sharing false claims about him.
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Victorian Mayor Brian Hood claims an AI chatbot was telling users he had spent time in prison as a result of an overseas bribery scandal.
He said he would sue OpenAI if the misinformation was not removed, the first defamation suit against an artificial intelligence chatbot
Mayor Hood became concerned about his reputation when members of the public told him that in the early 2000s the ChatGPT had wrongly named him as a guilty party in a bribery case involving a Reserve Bank of Australia probe. Subsidiary company included.
He worked for the subsidiary, Note Printing Australia, but was the person who informed authorities about the payment of bribes to foreign officials to win currency printing contracts, and was never charged with the crime, said the lawyers representing him.
The lawyers said they sent a letter of concern to ChatGPT owner OpenAI on March 21, giving OpenAI 28 days to correct errors about its client or face a possible defamation lawsuit.
The lawyers said OpenAI, which is based in San Francisco, has yet to respond to Mayor Hood’s legal letter. OpenAI did not respond to a request for comment.
A Microsoft spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
“This will potentially be a seminal moment as it is applying this defamation law to a new area of publishing in the artificial intelligence and IT space,” said James Naughton, partner at Mayor Hood’s law firm Gordon Legal.
“She’s an elected official, her reputation is central to her role … so it matters to her that people in her community are accessing this material”.
Australian defamation damages typically range around A$400,000 ($214,000). Mr Naughton said Mayor Hood did not know the exact number of people who had accessed false information about him – a determinant of the payment size – but the nature of the defamatory statements was so serious that he could claim more than $200,000. Could have
Mr. Naughton said that if the lawsuit is filed, it would accuse ChatGPT of giving users a false sense of accuracy by failing to include footnotes.
“It’s very difficult for someone to say ‘how does the algorithm come up with that answer?’” he said. “It’s too opaque.”
OpenAI addressed the issue of misinformation in a detailed blog post published on Wednesday.
“Today’s big language models predict the next series of words based on patterns including user-provided text input,” the company wrote.
“In some cases, the next most likely word may not be factually accurate. Improving factual accuracy is an important focus for OpenAI and many other AI developers, and we are making progress.
“While we strive to be as transparent as possible when users sign up to use the tool, ChatGPT may not always be accurate. However, we recognize that much work remains to be done to reduce the potential for hallucinations and to educate the public on the current limitations of these AI tools.
Additional reporting from agencies.
ChatGPT faces world’s first defamation lawsuit
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