CREATORS REVOLT over A.I.'s ' wanton theft '. At the heart of the rebellion is a newfound understanding that online information may have significant untapped value.

For more than 20 years, Kit Loffstedt has written her fiction exploring alternate universes for '' Star Wars '' heroes and '' Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' villains, sharing her stories for free online.

But in May, Ms. Loffstadt stopped posting her creations after she learned that a data company had copied stories and fed them into artificial intelligence technology underlying ChatGPT, the viral chatbot. Dismayed, she hid her writing behind a locked account.

Ms. Loffstadt also helped organise an act of rebellion last month against A.I. systems.  Along with dozens of other fan fiction writers, she published a flood of irreverent stories online to overwhelm and confuse the data-collection services that feed writers' work into A.I. technology. 

'' We each have to do whatever we can to show them the output of our creativity is not for machines to harvest as they like,'' said Ms. Loffstadt, a 42-year-old voice actor from South Yorkshire in Britain.

Fan fiction writers are just one of the groups staging revolts against A.I. systems as a fever over the technology has gripped Silicon Valley and the world.

In recent months, social media companies such as Reddit and Twitter, news organisations including The New York Times and NBC News, authors such as Paul Tremblay and the actress Sarah Silverman have all taken position against A.I.'s sucking up their data without permission.

Their protests have taken various forms. Writers and Artists are locking their files to protect their work or are boycotting certain websites that publish A.I. generated content, while companies like Reddit want to charge for access to their data.

At least 10 lawsuits have been filed this year against A.I. companies, accusing them of training their systems on artists' creative work without consent. In the past few weeks, Ms. Silverman and the authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey sued OpenA.I. the maker of ChatGPT,  and others over A.I.'s use of their work.

At the heart of the rebellions is a new found understanding that online information -stories, artwork, news articles, message board posts and photos - may have significant untapped value.

The new wave of  A.I. - known as  ''generative A.I.'' for the text, images and other content it generates - is built atop complex systems such as large Language Models, which are capable of producing humanlike prose.

These models are trained on hoards of all kinds of data so they can answer people's questions, mimic writing styles or churn out comedy and poetry.

This has set off a hunt by tech companies for even more data to feed their A.I. systems. Google, Meta and OpenAI have essentially used information from all over the internet, including large databases of fan fiction, troves of news articles and collections of books much of which was available free online.

In tech industry's parlance, this was known as ''scrapping'' the internet.

The Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Sheera Frenkel and Stuart A Thompson.


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