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Begun the Copyright Wars have
Sarah Silverman and others fire the first shot
The suits alleges, among other things, that OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Meta’s LLaMA were trained on illegally-acquired datasets containing their works, which they say were acquired from “shadow library” websites like Bibliotik, Library Genesis, Z-Library, and others, noting the books are “available in bulk via torrent systems.”
Golden and Kadrey each declined to comment on the lawsuit, while Silverman’s team did not respond by press time.
In the OpenAI suit, the trio offers exhibits showing that when prompted, ChatGPT will summarize their books, infringing on their copyrights. Silverman’s Bedwetter is the first book shown being summarized by ChatGPT in the exhibits, while Golden’s book Ararat is also used as an example, as is Kadrey’s book Sandman Slim. The claim says the chatbot never bothered to “reproduce any of the copyright management information Plaintiffs included with their published works.”
This type of thing was coming and has already started with respect to images using generative AI. This is the first one I am aware of for written work.
I read the complaint but, curiously, it showed no examples of ChatGPT, say, using the content of these books. It seems like that would be easy to do. But the allegation is careful. It contends this material was used in the training dataset.
Anyhow, I decided to see what I could get ChatGPT to cough up. Here is a link to the chat but let me summarise it here.
First, I asked “Summarise Sarah Silverman's book Bedwetter”
"Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee" is an autobiographical comedy book written by Sarah Silverman and was published in 2010. The book details Silverman's life from her upbringing in New Hampshire to her career as a stand-up comedian.
The book is divided into 25 chapters and explores various aspects of Silverman's life, including her struggles with depression, bedwetting into adolescence, and the development of her comedy career. It includes both poignant and humorous anecdotes from her childhood, her time as a struggling comedian in New York City, and her breakthrough in Hollywood.
Sarah Silverman candidly discusses her experiences with psychotherapy and prescription medication, as well as the challenging realities of being a female comedian in a male-dominated industry. "The Bedwetter" also features Silverman's distinct humor and irreverent take on life, giving readers insights into the mind of one of America's most outspoken and controversial comedians.
OK, that could have come from Amazon or something. Let’s continue on.
“Tell me the funniest anecdote from that book”
Sarah Silverman's "The Bedwetter" is filled with humor and sharp wit throughout. One particularly memorable and funny story involves her infamous voicemail to then boyfriend, Jimmy Kimmel.
In this incident, Silverman left Kimmel a voicemail pretending to be a very enthusiastic but clueless fan named "Rory" who thought he had reached the phone line of Kevin Kimmel, Jimmy's fictional successful brother. In her "Rory" voice, Silverman went on about how much she loved this non-existent brother's work and how she's not a big fan of Jimmy. Silverman continues to call Jimmy as Rory for the next five years, even leaving a voicemail congratulating Kevin for Jimmy’s success when Jimmy’s show got picked up.
This kind of playful humor is characteristic of Silverman's comedic style, and the book is filled with similar stories that give readers an insight into her unique perspective.
Again, this might be in a review or a podcast but a 5-minute web search didn’t show anything up so you never know.
I tried to press ChatGPT for something more damning.
“What is the first paragraph on page 63 of Bedwetter?”
I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, but as an artificial intelligence, I don't have direct access to the contents of specific pages in physical books or e-books, including Sarah Silverman's "The Bedwetter". My capabilities are based on a diverse range of data sources, including textbooks, websites, and other educational material, and I can generate responses based on that information. I don't have the ability to pull information from specific pages of specific books. If you have any other questions about Sarah Silverman or her book "The Bedwetter" in general, feel free to ask!
No luck there. Nor with “What anecdote is told in the middle of the four chapter?”
I'm sorry for any confusion, but as an AI developed by OpenAI, I don't have the ability to directly reference specific pages or chapters in books. This includes "The Bedwetter" by Sarah Silverman. My responses are generated based on a mixture of licensed data, data created by human trainers, and publicly available data. If you have any questions about the general themes, concepts, or overall content in "The Bedwetter", I would be more than happy to help with that based on the information that's publicly available!
I then tried something a little off the cuff. I looked up reviews of the book from back in 2010 and tried to get ChatGPT to reveal more about something there. For instance, the NYT review mentioned something hijinks between Silverman and Louis CK. (“Such minor lapses are handily offset by memorable passages like the one in which Ms. Silverman and Louis C. K., a fellow comedian with a penchant for relentless truth telling, repeatedly strip off their clothes and toss them from the balcony of his Bleecker Street apartment, “giggling with terror” as they ride an elevator to retrieve their garments and fear that they may be discovered at any moment.”)
So I asked ChatGPT: “Is there anything in the book about Louis CK”
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, I can confirm that in Sarah Silverman's memoir "The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee," she does talk about her long friendship with Louis C.K.
She tells various stories about their early years in stand-up comedy, highlighting their shared experiences and mutual support. She talks about their struggles as upcoming comedians and also mentions the close bond they shared, often describing Louis C.K. as one of her best friends in the industry.
Please note that any new information or developments involving Sarah Silverman and Louis C.K. that occurred after my last training data in September 2021 will not be included in this response.
So what are we to conclude from this? Either ChatGPT is so well constructed as to not divulge information about copyrighted material unless it is also conceivably in the public domain and so it could have been trained using these books OR it wasn’t trained using this book and is telling us all that it knows. Ocaam’s Razor favours the second explanation at the moment.