⚖️ Pushing Boundaries

How tech giants navigate legal and ethical frontiers in the race for ai data

Hello, AI Enthusiasts!

In this issue, we dive deep into the controversial tactics employed by industry titans, including OpenAI, Google, and Meta, in their relentless quest for data - a coveted commodity vital for training their AI systems.


  • How tech giants navigate legal and ethical frontiers in AI race?

  • Daily trending & featured AIs boost your career and business.

  • Google Photos used as hit list by Israeli AI Weapon.

Read Time: 3-5 minutes


  • X's AI Creates Fake Headline - Elon Musk's tech company, X, inaccurately projected Iran attacking Israel based on AI chatbot-generated content.

  • AI in Education - Teachers start utilising AI for grading, sparking concerns over accuracy and ethical issues.

  • AMD to Open-Source its GPU Software Stack - AMD has confirmed its plans to open-source part of its GPU software stack and documentation, including the Micro-Engine Scheduler (MES), in a move largely driven by Tiny Corp's emphasis on the need for open-sourcing for their AI server operations.

  • Apple AI - Apple has sealed a $50 million licensing deal with Shutterstock to use their extensive media library for AI training.


How tech giants navigate legal and ethical frontiers in AI race?

Imaged by DALL·E 3 and Magna Ding

Tech giants such as OpenAI, Google, and Meta have adopted controversial methods to amass vast datasets necessary for training their AI systems. Their actions, which have at times pushed the boundaries of legal and ethical standards, exemplify the desperate race for data in the AI development sector.

OpenAI's YouTube Transcriptions

  • Tool Development: OpenAI developed a speech recognition tool named Whisper specifically to transcribe YouTube videos. This effort was to acquire new conversational text for AI training, given the scarcity of unexplored high-quality text data on the internet.

  • Potential Rule Violation: The transcription of over one million hours of YouTube content potentially violated YouTube's policies, which prohibit the use of its videos for applications independent of the video platform, especially through automated means like bots or scrapers.

  • High-Level Involvement: Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president, was notably involved in the collection and processing of YouTube videos, indicating the project's significance to OpenAI's AI development efforts.

Meta's Exploration of Acquisitions and Copyrighted Data

  • Acquisition Considerations: Meta (formerly Facebook), in its pursuit to enhance its AI capabilities, discussed the acquisition of the publishing house Simon & Schuster. This move was aimed at directly accessing a vast array of long-form content, demonstrating the lengths to which the company was willing to go for data.

  • Copyrighted Data Usage: Meta's executives also contemplated the aggressive collection of copyrighted data from across the internet. This included internal discussions about summarizing books and articles without permission, underlining the company's urgency to match or surpass the capabilities of AI models like ChatGPT.

Google's Transcriptions and Privacy Policy Changes

  • YouTube Transcriptions: Similar to OpenAI, Google also transcribed YouTube videos to gather text for its AI models. This practice potentially infringed on the copyrights of video creators, raising questions about the ethicality of using copyrighted material without explicit consent.

  • Privacy Policy Revision: In a strategic move to widen the scope of data available for AI training, Google broadened its terms of service. This revision was partly aimed at allowing Google to tap into publicly available data from Google Docs, Google Maps reviews, and other sources, illustrating the company's proactive efforts to exploit its ecosystem for AI development.

Broader Implications

These examples reflect a broader trend within the tech industry, where the hunger for data to train sophisticated AI systems often clashes with copyright laws, privacy concerns, and ethical standards. The actions of these tech giants underscore the pressing need for clearer regulations and ethical guidelines in the AI development domain. Furthermore, these practices have sparked debates about the sustainability of AI innovation that relies heavily on data that may not be freely or ethically available, pointing towards the potential for future legal and regulatory challenges.


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Google Photos used as hit list by Israeli AI Weapon.

Imaged by DALL·E 3 and Magna Ding

Google is now at the center of a contentious issue due to the reported use of its product, specifically the facial recognition feature of Google Photos, for military surveillance and involvement in human rights controversies.

The Details:

  • Unintended Use of Google Photos: Google Photos, originally designed for personal photo organization and retrieval, has been repurposed by the Israeli AI weapon to track individuals in the Gaza Strip, a stark deviation from Google's intended use and ethical guidelines.

  • Ethics and Corporate Policy: Google's proclaimed dedication to global human rights and ethical business practices is called into question by the deployment of its technology in settings that could exacerbate conflict and infringe on privacy and other fundamental rights.

  • Impact on Human Rights: The utilization of Google Photos for facial recognition surveillance in the Gaza Strip has drawn criticism from international human rights organizations, highlighting concerns over privacy, discrimination, freedom of expression, and the right to peaceful assembly.

  • Google’s Response: Google's refusal to further clarify its position or respond to repeated inquiries about its compatibility with the company's policies against promoting harm through its products adds to the complexity of assessing its stance on the issue.

Why It Matters:

In essence, Google's reaction to the incident highlights a common dilemma faced by technology companies: balancing the open and beneficial use of their innovations against the potential for misuse in ways that could contribute to human rights abuses. The lack of a clear and decisive response from Google also reflects the broader challenge within the tech industry of navigating the ethical landscape of product usage, especially when their technologies are deployed in highly sensitive and contested environments.

This situation illustrates the complex interplay between technology, ethics, and human rights, highlighting the critical need for companies to consider the broader implications of their products and to act responsibly in their deployment and use.


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