Category Archives: AI

4 Things Businesses Should Know About ChatGPT

Workers in your business are probably trying out ChatGPT. Here are 4 things you should know.

#1 – You don’t own what it writes. ChatGPT output is not copyrightable. The Copyright Office explains: “When an AI technology determines the expressive elements of its output, the generated material is not the product of human authorship. As a result, that material is not protected by copyright.” So, if your competitor copies your ChatGPT generated content, there won’t be much you can do about it. ChatGPT may even help them do it. From OpenAI: “[d]ue to the nature of machine learning, Output may not be unique across users and the Services may generate the same or similar output for OpenAI or a third party.”

#2 – You may need another’s permission to use what it writes. ChatGPT “learns” by ingesting material that it can reproduce, at least in part, in response to user prompts. As claimed in the mounting number of lawsuits targeting generative AI, the material ingested can include copyrighted material. Therefore, the output could include that copyrighted material, and your use of it could be copyright infringement. OpenAI grants users rights in the content generated by ChatGPT, but that won’t prevent a copyright owner from suing you.

#3 – It can’t keep a secret. Whatever information you input is not confidential. ChatGPT is ingesting and storing all the information it receives, and using it to improve its answers to prompts. So, its very purpose is to use your information to inform others. From the opening screens: “Conversations may be reviewed by our AI trainers to improve our systems…Please don’t share any sensitive information in your conversations.” There is an option to prohibit use of your data to train the AI, but exercise of that option requires trust in both your employees to use it and OpenAI systems to actually honor it.

#4 – It makes stuff up. You need to fact-check ChatGPT output. This right from opening screens: “the system may occasionally generate incorrect or misleading information….” From the Your Rights Section of the OpenAI Privacy Policy: “you should not rely on the factual accuracy of output from our models.” Lawyers will know the story of the attorney who used ChatGPT to write a brief that included citations to cases that did not exist. Don’t be that guy.