Cybersecurity & Tech

The Lawfare Podcast: Pam Samuelson on Copyright's Threat to Generative AI

Jen Patja, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Pamela Samuelson
Monday, July 17, 2023, 7:49 AM
Where might the current litigation around generative AI being trained on copyrighted material lead?

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The only thing more impressive than the performance of generative AI systems like GPT-4 and Stable Diffusion is the sheer volume of training data that went into these systems. GPT was reportedly trained on, essentially, the entire Internet, while Stable Diffusion and other image-generation models rely on hundred of millions if not billions of existing pieces of artwork. Of course, much of this content is copyrighted, and the authors and artists whose work is being used to train these models and, potentially, threaten their own livelihoods are paying attention. A number of high-profile lawsuits are making their way through the courts, and the outcome of these cases could hugely shape, and potentially even stop, progress in machine learning.

To explore these issues, Alan Rozenshtein, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota and Senior Editor at Lawfare, spoke with Pam Samuelson, the Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley and one of the pioneers in the study of digital copyright law. She's just published a new piece in the journal Science titled "Generative AI meets copyright,” in which she analyzes the current litigation around generative AI and where it might lead.


Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, a senior editor at Lawfare, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.
Pamela Samuelson is the Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California, Berkeley.

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