Everything on the internet can be used to train AI models for free: CEO of Microsoft's AI division

The chief executive of Microsoft's new artificial intelligence (AI) division said in a recent interview with CNBC that anything published on the internet eventually becomes 'freeware' that can be copied and used for training AI models. He was asked whether AI companies have effectively stolen the world's IP.

Mustafa Suleyman responded, saying “With regard to the content that already exists on the open web, the social contract for that content since the 90s has been that it's fair use. Anyone can copy it, recreate it, reproduce it. It's been freeware if you want. That's the understanding.”

Microsoft joins hands with AI companies against publishers and news organizations

He then added that all content available online can be freely used to train AI models, unless the publisher of that content or a news organisation explicitly asks Google not to scrape or crawl their content for anything other than indexing to make the content visible to others. This makes Microsoft's stance clear on the use of content uploaded on the internet to train AI models.

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By doing so, the technology giant has joined forces with AI companies like Perplexity, Google, and OpenAI, who believe it is okay to train their AI models on content available on the web without paying the creator.

Almost all the companies working in the field of generative AI like ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and Copilot are surrounded by controversies regarding scraping copyrighted data and using it to train their upcoming AI models.

In addition to these controversies, several organizations and publications, including Forbes, the New York Times, and the Recording Industry Association of America, have filed lawsuits against these companies for using their content to train their AI models without permission.

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