A New Bill Aims to Bring Transparency to AI Training

Representative Adam Schiff introduced the Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act, a bill that would require companies to disclose what data was used to train AI models....
A New Bill Aims to Bring Transparency to AI Training
Written by Matt Milano
  • Representative Adam Schiff introduced the Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act, a bill that would require companies to disclose what data was used to train AI models.

    Issues of ownership and copyright are among the most contentious surrounding the deployment of AI. Content creators have accused companies of infringement for using their content to train models, while AI firms say it is nearly impossible to train AI without large quantities of data, including copyrighted material.

    The Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act would require companies to submit a notice to the Register of Copyrights before release a new generative AI system, disclosing any and all copyrighted works that were used in the training.

    “AI has the disruptive potential of changing our economy, our political system, and our day-to-day lives,” said Rep. Schiff. “We must balance the immense potential of AI with the crucial need for ethical guidelines and protections. My Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act is a pivotal step in this direction. It champions innovation while safeguarding the rights and contributions of creators, ensuring they are aware when their work contributes to AI training datasets. This is about respecting creativity in the age of AI and marrying technological progress with fairness.”

    The bill has widespread support from creative community.

    “Professional Photographers of America and its 35,000 members strongly support this bill. Photographers are particularly susceptible to having their works scraped by generative AI companies, as they must publicly exhibit their best work to attract clients. The urgency of this issue should not be understated as copyright holders suffer from the harsh reality of competing with their own works taken by generative AI companies to develop their systems,” said David Trust, CEO, Professional Photographers of America.

    “This bill is an important first step in addressing the unprecedented and unauthorized use of copyrighted materials to train generative AI systems. Greater transparency and guardrails around AI are necessary to protect writers and other creators,” said Meredith Stiehm, President, Writers Guild of America West.

    “The Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act is an important piece of legislation that will ensure companies use this new and rapidly advancing technology in ethical and transparent ways. Given the scope and potential threat of AI, enforceable regulations are urgently needed to keep companies from implementing this technology in the shadows, without people’s consent or knowledge.” said Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, President, Writers Guild of America East.

    Numerous lawsuits have already been filed against various AI companies, including a high-profile one filed by The New York Times against OpenAI and Microsoft. At the time of filing, the Times took issue with ChatGPT’s use of the paper’s content, as well as falsely attributing stories to the outlet.

    • The Constitution and the Copyright Act recognize the critical importance of giving creators exclusive rights over their works. Since our nation’s founding, strong copyright protection has empowered those who gather and report news to secure the fruits of their labor and investment. Copyright law protects The Times’s expressive, original journalism, including, but not limited to, its millions of articles that have registered copyrights.
    • Defendants have refused to recognize this protection. Powered by LLMs containing copies of Times content, Defendants’ GenAI tools can generate output that recites Times content verbatim, closely summarizes it, and mimics its expressive style, as demonstrated by scores of examples. See Exhibit J. These tools also wrongly attribute false information to The Times.

    Many industries experts believe that legislation is ultimately required to settle the issue of copyright and AI. Rep. Schiff’s bill could be the first step in that direction.

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