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Category Archives: Congress

Generative AI Might Finally Bend Copyright Past the Breaking Point

The Atlantic [unpaywalled] – For more than 200 years, copyright law has promoted a creative society. The chatbots could change everything. “It took Ralph Ellison seven years to write Invisible Man. It took J. D. Salinger about 10 to write The Catcher in the Rye. J. K. Rowling spent at least five years on the first Harry Potter book. Writing with the hope of publishing is always a leap of faith. Will you finish the project? Will it find an audience? Whether authors realize it or not, the gamble is justified to a great extent by copyright. Who would spend all that time and emotional energy writing a book if anyone could rip the thing off without consequence? This is the sentiment behind at least nine recent copyright-infringement lawsuits against companies that are using tens of thousands of copyrighted books—at least—to train generative-AI systems. One of the suits alleges “systematic theft on a mass scale,” and AI companies are potentially liable for hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more. In response, companies such as OpenAI and Meta have argued that their language models “learn” from books and produce “transformative” original work, just like humans. Therefore, they claim, no copies are being made, and the training is legal. “Use of texts to train LLaMA to statistically model language and generate original expression is transformative by nature and quintessential fair use,” Meta said in a court filing responding to one of the lawsuits last fall, referring to its generative-AI model. Yet as the artist Karla Ortiz told a Senate subcommittee last year, AI companies use others’ work “without consent, credit, or compensation” to build products worth billions of dollars. For many writers and artists, the stakes are existential: Machines threaten to replace them with cheap synthetic output, offering prose and illustrations on command…”

Slashdot: “The Intercept, Raw Story, and AlterNet have filed separate lawsuits against OpenAI and Microsoft, alleging copyright infringement and the removal of copyright information while training AI models. The Verge reports: The publications said ChatGPT “at least some of the time” reproduces “verbatim or nearly verbatim copyright-protected works of journalism without providing author, title, copyright or terms of use information contained in those works.” According to the plaintiffs, if ChatGPT trained on material that included copyright information, the chatbot “would have learned to communicate that information when providing responses.” Raw Story and AlterNet’s lawsuit goes further (PDF), saying OpenAI and Microsoft “had reason to know that ChatGPT would be less popular and generate less revenue if users believed that ChatGPT responses violated third-party copyrights.” Both Microsoft and OpenAI offer legal cover to paying customers in case they get sued for violating copyright for using Copilot or ChatGPT Enterprise. The lawsuits say that OpenAI and Microsoft are aware of potential copyright infringement. As evidence, the publications point to how OpenAI offers an opt-out system so website owners can block content from its web crawlers. The New York Times also filed a lawsuit in December against OpenAI, claiming ChatGPT faithfully reproduces journalistic work. OpenAI claims the publication exploited a bug on the chatbot to regurgitate its articles.”

With elections looming worldwide here’s how to identify and investigate AI audio deepfakes

Nieman Lab: “…Media manipulation investigators told GIJN that fake AI-generated audio simulations — in which a real voice is cloned by a machine learning tool to state a fake message — could emerge as an even bigger threat to elections in 2024 and 2025 than fabricated videos. One reason is that, like so-called cheapfakes, audio… Continue Reading

Where democracy is most at risk

The Economist: Four lessons from EIU’s new ranking of democracies – “In theory this year should be a triumphant one for democracy. More people are expected to vote in national elections in 2024 than ever before. But many elections will be problematic. This year’s democracy index published by EIU, our sister company, shows that only… Continue Reading

Violence Against Women and International Law – Updated February 2024

Violence Against Women and International Law – Updated February 2024 – Sabrina I. Pacifici is identifying and documenting pertinent sources for researchers on the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack and violence against women and girls. The guide was originally published on November 23, 2023 – link here, and had 8 pertinent sources on this topic comprising… Continue Reading

DOJ funding pipeline subsidizes questionable big data surveillance technologies

Via LLRX – DOJ funding pipeline subsidizes questionable big data surveillance technologies – Professor Andrew Guthrie Ferguson discusses how predictive policing has been shown to be an ineffective and biased policing tool. Yet, the Department of Justice has been funding the crime surveillance and analysis technology for years and continues to do so despite criticism from researchers, privacy… Continue Reading

Politics makes bastards of us all: Why moral judgment is politically situational

Kyle Hull, Clarisse Warren, Kevin Smith. Politics makes bastards of us all: Why moral judgment is politically situational [full text free to read]. Political Psychology, 2024; DOI: 10.1111/pops.12954 – “Moral judgment is politically situational—people are more forgiving of transgressive copartisans and more likely to behave punitively and unethically toward political opponents. Such differences are widely observed,… Continue Reading

The Dignity Index is designed to prevent violence, ease divisions, and solve problems

“The Dignity Index scores distinct phrases along an eight-point scale from contempt to dignity. Lower scores (1-4) reflect divisive language while higher scores (5-8) reflect language grounded in dignity. In its pilot season, a trained group of students supported by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and the Hinckley Institute of Politics… Continue Reading

Why the Most Educated People in America Fall for Anti-Semitic Lies

The Atlantic [read free] “By now, December’s congressional hearing about anti-Semitism at universities, during which the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT all claimed that calls for the genocide of Jews would violate their university’s policies only “depending on the context,” is already a well-worn meme. Surely there is nothing left to… Continue Reading

The impact of generative AI in a global election year

Brookings – Valerie Wirtschafter: “The influence of the online ecosystem in shaping democratic discourse is well-documented, with the expanded reach of generative artificial intelligence (AI) representing a novel challenge in a historic election year. Generative AI enables the creation of realistic images, videos, audio, or text based on user-provided prompts. Given the potential exploitation of… Continue Reading

Wyden Reveals Phone Data Used to Target Abortion Misinformation at Visitors to Hundreds of Reproductive Health Clinics

“U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., revealed today that an anti-abortion political group used mobile phone location data to send targeted misinformation to people who visited any of 600 reproductive health clinics in 48 states. In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, Wyden urged the government to act quickly to… Continue Reading

Social Media Posts Have Power, and So Do You

Rand – Stop the Spread of False and Misleading Information During Voting Season by Alice Huguet, Julia H. Kaufman, Melissa Kay Diliberti – “In a healthy democracy, having accurate information is crucial for making informed decisions about voting and civic engagement. False and misleading information can lead to knowledge that is inaccurate, incomplete, or manipulated.… Continue Reading

Understanding the Privacy Practices of Political Campaigns: A Perspective from the 2020 US Election Websites

024 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP) Understanding the Privacy Practices of Political Campaigns: A Perspective from the 2020 US Election Websites Year: 2024, Pages: 91-91, DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/SP54263.2024.00091. Kaushal Kafle, William & Mary, USA ;  Prianka Mandal, William & Mary, USA  ; Kapil Singh, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA ; Benjamin Andow,… Continue Reading