OpenAI Gets a Taste of Its Own Medicine From ByteDance

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ByteDance, the company that created TikTok, has become used to being a cutting-edge innovator in the creator economy. Its approach to short-form videos and trends has made TikTok one of the most mimicked apps, with Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, among other things, being rolled out in an attempt to compete with it.

Yet, everything changed after artificial intelligence snuck up on us all this year. OpenAI, the company behind the popular language generator ChatGPT, has undoubtedly topped TikTok as the most exciting tech development for the past few years. Now, as 2023 comes to a close, we’re seeing a revolving door of new AI innovations in the creator landscape, whether that be AI-generated artwork or entirely AI-generated influencers.

This AI arms race took a turn once it emerged on Dec. 15 that OpenAI had suspended ByteDance’s account. According to documents obtained by The Verge, ByteDance violated the platform’s terms of service by using OpenAI‚Äôs GPT model to develop its own AI conversational software.

Or, to put it simply, ByteDance was secretly using ChatGPT to make its own version of the program. In the process, it stole a huge amount of data.

As concerning as this situation is, there is a darkly ironic side to it. As we know, OpenAI essentially trains itself through the use of other internet users’ data. By and large, AI wouldn’t be the powerhouse it is today if other people’s data weren’t exploited by it.

The pushback OpenAI clearly gave for TikTok allegedly trying to take its data is, if nothing else, hilarious. Of course, that doesn’t mean that ByteDance was right to train off of OpenAI’s data, but it is, at least, kind of satisfying to see the AI giant finally get a taste of its own medicine.

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