Cybersecurity & Tech

The Lawfare Podcast: Eugene Volokh on AI Libel

Jen Patja, Alan Z. Rozenshtein, Eugene Volokh
Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 12:00 PM
If someone lies about you, you can usually sue them for defamation. But what if that someone is ChatGPT?

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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If someone lies about you, you can usually sue them for defamation. But what if that someone is ChatGPT? Already in Australia, the mayor of a town outside Melbourne has threatened to sue OpenAI because ChatGPT falsely named him a guilty party in a bribery scandal. Could that happen in America? Does our libel law allow that? What does it even mean for a large language model to act with "malice"? Does the First Amendment put any limits on the ability to hold these models, and the companies that make them, accountable for false statements they make? And what's the best way to deal with this problem: private lawsuits or government regulation?

On this episode of Arbiters of Truth, our series on the information ecosystem, Alan Rozenshtein, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota and Senior Editor at Lawfare, discussed these questions with First Amendment expert Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law at UCLA and the author of a draft paper entitled "Large Libel Models.”


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.
Eugene Volokh is a Professor of Law at UCLA and an expert on the First Amendment.

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