The following article, Elon Musk Accuses OpenAI CEO Altman Of Stealing And Monetizing Internet Data, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Elon Musk has once again targeted Sam Altman in response to a user’s accusation that the CEO of OpenAI had effectively stolen the internet and was redistributing it through incremental API calls.
On Monday, an X (formerly Twitter) user accused Altman of stealing the internet and then selling it back to users, one API call at a time.
This assertion immediately caught the attention of Musk, who co-founded ChatGPT-parent OpenAI in 2015 and left the company in 2018.
Musk’s comment ignited the ongoing debate on the practice of scraping and compressing data from the open internet to build powerful AI models. The user’s accusation further outlined a strategy that involved selling this data back to users through APIs and imposing legal barriers to prevent others from following the same path.
In the comment section, some people said that models trained on data freely available on the internet should remain open and accessible. Notably, ChatGPT Plus is available for a $20 monthly subscription in the U.S., and it comes with access to GPT-4, OpenAI’s latest LLM model.
The discussion also broached the question of costs involved in training AI models and whether these costs could justify such data monetization.
It is worth noting that OpenAI, once an open-source nonprofit organization, has transformed into a more closed entity. Musk has previously spoken about the alleged role of Microsoft Corporation in this transformation and accused the company of having access to OpenAI’s source code.
In April, it was reported that OpenAI had its access to Twitter, now rebranded as X, data shut down because Musk felt that the $2 million paid by the Altman-led company for licensing is insufficient.
During the same time, OpenAI introduced an “incognito mode” that enabled users to decide whether their conversation records should be saved to improve ChatGPT’s AI. The company also announced that it is working on ChatGPT Business, a subscription service designed for enterprises seeking greater control over their users’ data.
Earlier this year, Italy temporarily banned ChatGPT but later allowed it to resume under specific conditions, which included giving users the option to object to data processing.
Meanwhile, last week, China proposed a blacklist of sources that cannot be used to train generative AI models, including censored content on the Chinese internet.
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Edited by Miriam Onyango and Newsdesk Manager
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