Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter, on Wednesday, has threatened to sue Microsoft accusing the software giant of illegally using the social media company’s data to train its artificial intelligence model.
Musk gave this threat of issuing a lawsuit via a tweet after Mashable and other publications reported that Microsoft would soon be dropping Twitter from its advertising platform, which enables ad buyers to manage all of their social media accounts in one place.
“They trained illegally using Twitter data,” Musk tweeted. “Lawsuit time.”
Although Musk is very fond of tweeting many plans that often never meet their execution, and no lawsuit has been filed up till now, but this is a very serious concern for the Tesla CEO. Twitter’s press line didn’t respond meaningfully to a request for comment, and a Microsoft representative declined to comment.
This is a clear indication that data ownership is becoming a battleground amidst the generative AI rush. Following the rapid development of AI tools, all large tech companies are working on their own models regardless of highlighting their negative impacts on the future of society and this world as a whole.
Microsoft has invested $10 billion in OpenAI last year in a very unusual deal. Musk in fact was a co-founder of OpenAI in 2018 before leaving its board and has complained recently of the company’s move from a nonprofit model to a highly valuable business influenced by Microsoft.
Large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT require large amounts of data for training much of which is gathered from sites like Reddit, Stack Overflow, and Twitter. And this training data from socials is a vital key for the ideal functioning of LLMs as it captures informal, back-and-forth conversations.
But now these very sites are making demands on the usage of their data without prior permission. For example, Reddit said earlier this week that it would charge companies for access to its programming interface used to feed the conversations among Redditors into AI training software.
Universal Music Group also said this week that such training of artists’ music would represent “both a breach of our agreements and a violation of copyright law” in response to a viral video of a song that claimed to use AI to imitate the rapper, Drake.
And stock photo database Getty Images is suing Stable Diffusion, alleging that the company copied its content to train its AI image generator.
Musk said in December that Twitter would “pause” OpenAI’s access to its database. He’s also announced plans to build his own large language model in one of his companies called TruthGPT.