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The New York Times sues OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement

OpenAI feels a bit like Napster: a proof of concept that shows the power of a particular experience while trampling over the licensing agreements that would have been needed to make the whole thing legal.

The Napster user experience eventually led to our streaming music present: you can draw a line from it directly to Spotify and Apple Music. I expect we'll see the same thing in AI. We know what's possible, a lot of people are excited about it, but it'll take someone else to put the legal agreements in place to actually make it work. (If I had to guess, that company starts with an "A", but it could be a newcomer.)

Once again, the argument that training an LLM is no different to someone reading the same material falls short. Unlike OpenAI, I have to pay for the content I read, and like OpenAI, if I start spewing out large portions of New York Times stories under my byline, I'll end up in court.

I don't know whether OpenAI itself will last. But I am certain we'll see powerful LLMs offered as a service in the future, underpinned by real content licensing agreements for their training data.

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