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Google faces lawsuit for stealing data from users to train AI tools

Google was reportedly served a class-action lawsuit on Tuesday alleging that the company stole data from millions of users without their consent and violated copyright laws in order to train and develop its artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

According to CNN, the proposed lawsuit against Google, its parent company Alphabet, and its AI subsidiary DeepMind was filed in a federal court in California and was brought by Clarkson Law Firm.

The law firm also filed a similar suit against OpenAI in June.

The lawsuit states that Google “has been secretly stealing everything ever created and shared on the internet by hundreds of millions of Americans” and using the data to train its AI products. The complaint also alleges that Google has taken “virtually the entirety of our digital footprint,” including “creative and copywritten works” to build its AI products.

The complaint points to a recent update to Google’s privacy policy that explicitly states the company may use publicly accessible information to train its AI models and tools like Bard.

Google revised its privacy policy last week, stating that it can utilise publicly available data to train its AI programmes.

Over the weekend, the tech giant altered the wording of its policy, replacing “AI models” with “language models.”

In a response to The Verge on a query regarding the update, a Google spokesperson said, “Our privacy policy has long been transparent that Google uses publicly available information from the open web to train language models for services like Google Translate.”

The case comes at a time when a new generation of AI tools has gotten a lot of attention for its capacity to generate textual work and graphics in response to human inputs. This is accomplished by training big language models on massive amounts of online data.

However, according to the Google lawsuit, companies are also drawing increasing legal scrutiny over copyright issues arising from works swept up in these data sets, as well as their apparent exploitation of personal and perhaps sensitive data from everyday users, including data from youngsters.

OpenAI and Meta are also facing similar copyright violation lawsuits from comedian Sarah Silverman and two other authors for using their published work to train their AI models without their consent. CNBCTV18

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