LLLotW 2023.2

I've had to read a lot of stuff about generative AI this week for work. There, I can't simply say “don't use it, it's bad”, so thank goodness I have other outlets.

We come to bury ChatGPT, not to praise it

So sayeth Dan McQuillan. I've played around with ChatGPT after resisting doing that for a couple of months, and whilst it's impressive in some ways, what's noticeable is just how unimpressive it is at most things, given the extraordinary resources poured into it. As Chloe Xiang has said, “AI isn't artificial or intelligent”.

GitHub is Sued, and We May Learn Something About Creative Commons Licensing

Microsoft GitHub's Copilot is also powered by OpenAI's GPT-3 model, and it seems pretty clear that they have absolutely committed industrial level copyright violation to build it.

Plaintiffs allege that OpenAI and GitHub assembled and distributed a commercial product called Copilot to create generative code using publicly accessible code originally made available under various “open source”-style licenses, many of which include an attribution requirement. The resulting product allegedly omitted any credit to the original creators.

Open licenses have tended to be looked upon by users as a free-for-all, without adequate attention to the very real concerns of the creators. In this case, the sheer scale of the alleged violation in terms of works used may well form the basis of the defense. “Your honor, we needed so many works that it was simply not practical to ask permission of the creators.” I don’t find this argument convincing given the ability today to license many content types at scale for TDM ...but it is an argument often offered by infringers.

What really caught my eye in this article though, to be honest, was this hilariously Scholarly Kitchenesque nugget:

The impulse to create and use open source code is reasonable and has some social utility.

Nice to know that the thing powering the entire modern economy “has some social utility”.

Curationist makes it easy to enjoy art and culture online.

Something a bit more fun to finish off. Curationist appears to be something a bit like an international non-profit Trove or DPLA. Definitely worth watching, their roadmap is pretty interesting.

See you next week!

Libraries and Learning Links of the Week is published every Friday by Hugh Rundle.