ChatGPT: Australian mayor plans legal action against OpenAI

Brian Hood, a regional Australian mayor, is considering legal action against OpenAI over ChatGPT’s false claims that he served time in prison for bribery.
OpenAIThis could be the first defamation lawsuit against the automated text service, Reuters news report said.

Brian Hood, who was elected mayor of Hepburn Shire, became concerned about his reputation when members of the public told him that ChatGPT had falsely implicated him in a foreign bribery scandal involving a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia in the early 2000s.

While Brian Hood did work for the subsidiary, Note Printing Australia, he was the person who reported the payment of bribes to foreign officials to win currency printing contracts and was never charged with a crime, according to his lawyers.

On March 21, Brian Hood’s lawyers sent a letter to OpenAI expressing concern and requesting that the errors about their client be corrected within 28 days or face a possible defamation lawsuit.

OpenAI, which is based in San Francisco, has not yet responded to Brian Hood’s legal letter, according to his lawyers.

If Brian Hood sues, it would likely be the first time a person has sued the owner of ChatGPT for claims made by the automated language product, which has become very popular since its launch last year.

Microsoft, which made significant investment in OpenAI, has integrated ChatGPT into its search engine Bing in February.

Brian Hood’s lawyers said that if he files a lawsuit, it would likely accuse ChatGPT of giving users a false sense of accuracy by failing to include footnotes.

If Brian Hood sues, it would likely be the first time a person has sued the owner of ChatGPT for claims made by the automated language product which has become wildly popular since its launch last year. Microsoft integrated ChatGPT into its search engine Bing in February.

“It would 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,” James Naughton, a partner at Hood’s lawfirm Gordon Legal, told Reuters.

Australian defamation damages payouts are generally capped around A$400,000 ($269,360). Brian Hood did not know the exact number of people who had accessed the false information about him – a determinant of the payout size – but the nature of the defamatory statements was serious enough that he may claim more than A$200,000, Naughton said.

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