Elon says copyright and AI lawsuits don’t matter because ‘digital god’ will arrive before they’re decided
from That’s not how any of this works to divide
So, we already wrote about the biggest headline-grabbing moment from Elon Musk’s Dealbook interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin yesterday, but there was another crazy Techdirt-related moment involving copyright and AI. As we have shown time and time again, copyright is the wrong tool to use to regulate AI, and using it will lead to bad outcomes.
However, absolutely nothing in this part of the interview makes any sense at all (from both sides):
It starts with an ill-informed question from Aaron Ross Sorkin, who seems completely unprepared for this:
Ars: So, one of the things about training on data, was this idea that you wouldn’t train on…or these things wouldn’t be trained on people’s copyrighted information. Historically. That was the concept.
Which color: Yes, this is a big lie.
Ars: Say that again.
Which color: All of these AI systems are trained on copyrighted data. clearly.
Ars: So, you think it’s a lie when OpenAI says that… None of these people say they’re training on copyrighted data.
Which color: Yes, that’s a lie.
Ars: It’s a lie. Straighten up?
Which color: An outright lie.
So…there’s a lie here, but Andrew Ross Sorkin says that any AI company that claims they’re not training on copyrighted data. Everyone admits it. They say doing so is fair use (because it is). So the entire premise of this discussion is wrong. Here’s OpenAI admitting in court that it was, of course, training on copyrighted material. She believes that fair use allows it (because it does).
So, on the one hand, Elon is right to reject Sorkin’s claim. But Musk is misguided, because he seems to believe the false premise of Sorkin’s question that AI companies say they don’t train on copyrighted data. If Musk had any idea what he was doing, he would have told Sorkin that his hypothesis was wrong, and that no company would deny training on such materials.
From there, Sorkin continues with a more confusing discussion, claiming that although excerpts of articles on ExTwitter are fair use, because taken together, people might post an entire article, that may not be the case anymore…but that’s not the case with any Than this works anyway. Someone give him a copyright 101 lesson, because this is embarrassing.
Either way, Musk made the whole thing… um… very weird. Because while Sorkin kept trying to pressure Musk about the copyright lawsuits, Musk did the following:
musk: I don’t know, except to say that by the time these lawsuits are decided, we will have a “digital god.” So, you can ask Digital God at that point. Mother. These lawsuits will not be resolved in an appropriate time frame.
If someone you know starts saying things like this, you should check them out.
Whether or not you believe that AGI (artificial general intelligence) is on the way, or that it might create a “digital god,” the idea that this comes before these lawsuits are decided is… um… not realistic. But, even if we somehow manage to get to AGI within the next few years as these lawsuits continue, the idea that such AGI is outdated before the courts and/or copyright law is wishful thinking. .
Hell, we’ve argued for years that the Internet itself has already outdated copyright laws, but they still persist and get dumber all the time. I’d like it to be true that technology further abolishes copyright law and moves things to a better overall system…but that won’t happen because of the “digital god”.
Of course, maybe if Elon really believes the digital god is coming in the next few years, that explains why he doesn’t care about advertisers on ExTwitter anymore.
Filed Under: Andrew Ross Sorkin, Copyright, Digital God, Elon Musk, Fair Use
Companies: openai, twitter, x, xai