A regional Australian mayor has threatened to sue OpenAI, the creator company behind the highly popular ChatGPT—if it fails to rectify false claims made by the generative AI about him serving time in prison for bribery. This potential lawsuit—if it proceeds—would mark the first defamation case against OpenAI.
According to a recent report by Reuters, Brian Hood, who was elected as the mayor of Hepburn Shire in November last year, has expressed concerns about his reputation after ChatGPT wrongly suggested that he was involved in a foreign bribery scandal.
Hood’s lawyers have already sent a “letter of concern” to OpenAI—asking them to correct the misreported information. The latter, which was sent on March 21, requests OpenAI to fix the issue, or face a potential lawsuit, and has given the company 28 days to do so. However, OpenAI is yet to respond to Hood’s lawyers.
Should the lawsuit materialise, it would be the first instance of a generative AI being sued for defaming and providing false information to its users.
James Naughton, a partner at Hood’s lawfirm Gordon Legal, said, “It would potentially be a landmark moment in the sense that it’s applying this defamation law to a new area of artificial intelligence and publication in the IT space.” He added, “He’s an elected official, his reputation is central to his role.”
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