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US Government is seeking public comments on AI (Artificial Intelligence) until October 18, 2023

by Oct 10, 2023Announcements, News, Contests and Giveaways, On Writing: Craft and Commiseration0 comments

TL; DR: As they try to figure out how to legislate AI works, the US government is accepting comments from the public until October 18, 2023.

Leaving a comment takes seconds, can be done anonymously or if you are outside the US and is incredibly important to small creators like your favorite writers and artists so please take a moment to do so right now before you forget.

US Government is seeking public comments on Artificial Intelligence until October 18, 2023

Take a second to leave a comment that encourages AI legislation that protects everyone's right to consent


Encourage AI legislation that protects everyone’s right to consent

AI is a big topic these days and you’re probably hearing a lot of very contradictory takes. The biggest problem is, right now, AI is sort of the wild west where there is no regulation whatsoever and it’s become a nightmare for creatives and regular people while we wait for laws to catch up. The government is open for public comments on how to proceed right now and the big companies are out in full force, lobbying to crush individuals and we really need you voice to weigh in for the little guys.

The link to leave a comment is here (must be done before Oct 18th).

If you care at all about media (books, movies, art, etc), please just take a second to leave a comment. It can be anonymous or from users outside the US* and takes no time at all. It doesn’t need to be long or profound, the main points just need to be…

  • Creatives are looking for AI to be treated the same as any other derivative work where a) copyrighted content can ONLY be used in AI training and resulting creations with the expression permission of the rights holder and b) that rights holders are compensated for any resulting work made from AI built or trained on their content.
  • Individuals are looking for protection that their images, words or art cannot be used in AI creations without their permission.

That’s it! Feel free to use this as a starting point, but please personalize and customize it and don’t use it word for word because they dismiss repeated comments as spam.

*= users outside the US are encouraged to comment because many countries are waiting to set their own policies based on how the US legislates so they absolutely effects you too

What does all that mean?

1. All everyone wants is the right to consent to our content being used in AI (which means you have the right to opt out *before* your content is fed into the algorithm, not the way it works now where they take everything and only sometimes act if you notice your stolen content and report it).

2. If something is generated using AI built off your content, you are compensated.

Why these two main points? It’s literally the bare minimum protection for everyone to know their work will not be used without their permission and that creators will be compensated for any work made out of their work. And, honestly, it’s so little that no AI fan should object to because it’s exactly how it works right now for all other derivative or transformative works. It would also protect AI fans from litigation or controversy since they’ll be able to rest assured the work they generate is free of stolen copyrighted material.

How do derivative works normally work? Let’s say you wanted to make a movie of one of my plays. You’d have to first get my permission to do so and then compensate me for creating a new derivative work out of my original work. It’s the standard for building new content off of existing content.

Is that not how it works with AI now?

Sadly, no.

The problem going on right now is that so much of the AI currently out there (like ChatGPT) was trained on stolen content (they literally just seeded it with anything on the internet including entire books, blogs, art and even things like voices and faces of everyone from actors and tiktok stars to regular people posting family pictures on social media without securing permission for any of it). The big corporations are fighting tooth and nail to be able to continue to shovel whatever they want into their algorithm regardless of the consent of anyone involved instead of… you know… building something that didn’t have theft built right in.

Personally, I have had decades of blog posts stolen across several blogs as well as about a million words of fiction I wrote under a pen name. It’s forced me to scale back on how much content I offer for free online until there are some kind of protections against this theft in place which stinks because I really liked being able to share stuff with people for free online and they have taken that from me.

Beyond the loss of income for the original creators from people profiting off their hard work, it’s a privacy nightmare. People are using AI to make revenge porn using people’s public family photos (every parent’s nightmare), voice over actors say things they would find reprehensible, AI to generate hateful comics in the style of an artist who would would never support such bigotry. Even Amazon is dealing with the fact that AI is spitting back entire sentences and paragraphs stolen from our books and blogs by flagging the original author for plagiarism when it’s the other way around. Even if you aren’t a creator, having control over your image and words is something EVERYONE is concerned about.

Which is all to say, the corporations have lots of money to grease the wheels so they can continue to steal from us little guys so please PLEASE take a second to leave a comment and pass this along to your family and friends to do that same so we get a voice too. It’s something very small that only takes minutes to do but can have a huge effect on the creative landscape in the future. We need these protections and legislation yesterday and the sooner we get them on the books, the sooner we can start to repair the damage already wrought.

The link to comment is here: Artificial Intelligence and Copyright

Here’s the comment I left in full…

As a parent, my primary concern with AI is ensuring nothing of mine can be used in in AI training without my express permission. There should be significant penalties for using someone’s personal photos or writing in AI training without their permission to discourage this from ever happening. Nothing should be used to train AI without the the original poster opting in and giving their consent. Period.

As an author and playwright, I would be looking for works made with AI to be treated exactly the same as any other derivative work. Namely that they a) cannot be included in AI training or any resulting AI creation without the express permission of the creator and b) this inclusion comes with the conditional that the creator will be compensated for their work (either with flat fee or a percentage of any profits resulted from the use of their content decided upon by both parties).

This is no different than how it would work if you sampled a song or did an adaptation of another copyrighted work and that is exactly how AI should work.

To reiterate: Whether personal or commercial, we are looking for legislation that says content can ONLY be used in AI training and resulting creations with the express permission of the rights holder AND they are to be compensated for the inclusion.


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About the Author

Hillary DePiano is a playwright, fiction and non-fiction writer who loves writing of all kinds except for writing bios like this.

Books and Plays by Hillary DePiano