Google Is Investigating Claims That OpenAI Used YouTube Videos To Train Sora

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the Google HQ, and Open AI on smartphone. Pichai and the smartphone are linked by an arrow.
OpenAI Google CEO Remix by Caterina Rose Cox Hybrid_Graphics/Shutterstock QubixStudio/Shutterstock photosince/Shutterstock

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has responded to theories that OpenAI may have breached YouTube’s terms and conditions to train Sora

In an interview with The Verge, conducted by editor-in-chief Nilay Patel, Pichai was pressed on the possibility that OpenAI may have scraped YouTube videos to train Sora, OpenAI’s generative AI video software.

What did Google say about OpenAI scraping YouTube?

CEO Pichai said that his team isn’t sure yet if OpenAI scraped YouTube, but it has some suspicions.

“Look, we don’t know the details,” he said. “Our YouTube team is following up and trying to understand it. We have terms and conditions, and we would expect people to abide by those terms and conditions when you build a product, so that’s how I felt about it.”

To which Patel responded: “So you felt like they had broken your terms and conditions, or potentially, or if they had, that wouldn’t have been appropriate?”

“Yes, that’s right,” Pichai replied

Back in March, OpenAI’s CTO Mira Murati told the Wall Street Journal that she was “not sure” if OpenAI trains platforms on YouTube and Instagram content, although she noted that the machine learning models have used “publicly available data and licensed data.”

“Through this AI moment, over time, there’ll be players who will do better by the content creators that support their platforms, and whoever does it better will emerge as the winner,” Pichai said in his interview.

Google’s hypocrisy

The part of the interview paints a very unbecoming picture of OpenAI. Which would be fair enough if it weren’t for the fact that Google is just as bad.

These comments by Pichai were related to a recent New York Times report, which suggested OpenAI was scraping YouTube. But that very same report also noted that Google was doing the exact same thing.

It’s worth noting that, per NBC, YouTube has also heavily invested in generative AI features, which could be seen as replacing creators’ work. And let’s not forget how many creators are detrimented by Google’s overhauled, AI-generated search responses.

So, if YouTube is trying to position itself as a creator-centric company, it still has a long way to go. 

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