But LLM training? I don’t feel the same sense of creative commonality. Although I tend to see scientific and technological work as creative as much as rational, I don’t think ChatGPT is itself an artwork. I think it’s a technology which wears a simulation of creativity, and how that simulation is achieved governs its meaning. In this case, that seems to be via a straightforward systematic appropriation; yet another instance of a big tech outfit saying that the legislative environment (that is, the world everyone else inhabits and makes a living in) doesn’t suit them and restricts their power to make money and do good by… doing what, exactly? Generating a machine that can create horrible internet content and break search for all of us? Causing a strike in Hollywood? We’re all past the point where you can wave a wand and say “we created this amazing digital thing and it’s going to make everyone’s lives SO much better, so you have to let us burn the newspaper industry to the ground.” It ain’t that simple, tech bro. And if OpenAI and the rest really believed in the accessibility they think society requires from writers and artists, they’d be, well, open with their code. Which they are not.
LLM = Large Language Model