Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the world we live in, and India is no exception. With the advent of new technologies such as ChatGPT, which is an AI-based chatbot system that uses natural language processing and machine learning to interact with users, the potential implications of these advancements have become increasingly relevant. While the benefits of these technologies are undeniable, it is crucial to consider the ethical implications of their implementation in Indian society.
ChatGPT is an advanced AI-based chatbot system designed to communicate with users in a natural and human-like way. It is an innovative technology that has the potential to revolutionise the way we interact with machines, and has already been implemented in several industries in India, including healthcare, finance, and retail. However, the increasing use of ChatGPT raises many ethical questions that need to be addressed.
The performance of ChatGPT, is heavily influenced by the caliber and amount of data used to train it. It is widely believed that ChatGPT was trained on internet content such as web pages, books, essays, and other publicly available text sources. Consequently, ChatGPT may provide responses based on its text sources without giving proper credit or attribution to the sources of this information. This raises significant copyright concerns, especially given ChatGPT’s widespread use in academia, content creation, and academic assessments. The key question then becomes: who owns the intellectual property of ChatGPT content? Can ChatGPT be held liable for copyright infringement? Can users be held responsible if they use content created by ChatGPT?
One of the key ethical concerns surrounding the use of ChatGPT is the potential for bias in the data sets used to train the system. AI systems like ChatGPT are only as good as the data they are trained on, and if that data is biased in some way, then the system will also be biased. This could have serious implications for several industries, particularly those that rely on AI for decision-making processes, such as finance and healthcare.
The copyright laws of most countries typically grant ownership of a work to its author, who is defined as the person who created it or arranged for its creation. The level of originality is determined by the amount of skill, labour, and effort involved in producing the work, rather than the work’s novelty. This provision of the law makes it challenging for Generative AI systems, like ChatGPT, to infringe on copyright, as they can create original works that are difficult to attribute to a specific creator or source. When questioned, the chatbot refuted any suggestion that it was merely copying and pasting content from websites.
However, OpenAI holds the copyright for any text generated by ChatGPT, as it is the owner and creator of the chatbot. OpenAI can enforce copyright protection as necessary, as it has the power to sue and be sued, while ChatGPT is not considered a legal person. Additionally, the usage of content determines whether there is a violation of copyright or not. For example, can content created by ChatGPT be used for commercial purposes and generate income? To clarify the issue, I asked the chatbot if the content it produces could be used for commercial purposes. Although it did not provide a definitive response, it stated that some uses may be permissible under OpenAI’s acceptable use policy, while others may be copyright infringement. Users are responsible for determining whether a licence from OpenAI or the platform where the text was generated is required for their specific use cases.
Privacy is another important ethical consideration when it comes to ChatGPT. The system collects any personal data from users, including their conversations and interactions. While this data is typically anonymized and used only to improve the system, there is always a risk that it could be used for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft or targeted advertising.
In 2022, the popularity of AI-generated photos was met with a swift backlash from artists, particularly illustrators. They were outraged that their work was being exploited to train AI without their permission, credit, or compensation. According to them, the AI learning model allowed Generative AI to condense their entire life’s work into a few hours and respond within seconds. Unlike artists and other professionals, AI does not require the same level of experience, labour, or investment to master their skills.
This issue is not limited to visual art but also affects language-based AI like ChatGPT. The text resources used to train it are often created by writers and journalists who spend a considerable amount of time perfecting their craft. However, this work is then fed to the chatbot to respond in a matter of seconds. ChatGPT is currently available for free, with a premium (Paid) and non-premium (Trial) bifurcation, similar to most generative AI systems. Perhaps a method for compensating and acknowledging the sources used to train generative AI will be devised in the future.
Another ethical concern raised by AI is plagiarism. Educational institutions are increasingly concerned about the originality of work submitted by students. The features of ChatGPT have compounded the issue by making it easier for students to plagiarise undetected. Although some AI tools have been developed to detect AI-written content, they are not always accurate and can generate false positives when the content is human-written. Therefore, it is essential to continue exploring the ethical implications of AI and addressing the concerns of affected stakeholders.
To address these ethical concerns, Indian businesses, and policymakers need to take a proactive approach to the implementation of ChatGPT and other AI technologies. This includes implementing strict guidelines and regulations for the use of AI, investing in ethical training and education for developers and users, and ensuring that the potential risks and benefits of these technologies are carefully weighed before they are implemented. Overall, the potential implications of ChatGPT and other AI technologies in India are vast and complex. While these technologies have the potential to revolutionise several industries, they must be implemented ethically and responsibly. Only by taking a proactive approach to these issues can we ensure that the benefits of AI are realised while minimising the potential risks.