OpenAI Requests Federal Court Trial in Lawsuit Involving ChatGPT Fiasco

OpenAI LLC, the defendant in a legal battle with radio host Mark Walters, has requested that the lawsuit proceed in federal court rather than returning to a lower court. The lawsuit, filed by Walters, accuses OpenAI’s ChatGPT of defamation for generating a phony legal complaint that falsely accused him of embezzlement. OpenAI’s legal counsel argues that the case meets the requirements for federal jurisdiction and should be tried in that venue.

The dispute emerged when a ChatGPT subscriber, Fred Riehl, interacted with the AI tool to obtain a summary of a pending Second Amendment case. However, instead of providing accurate information, ChatGPT hallucinated false statements about Walters, including accusations of fraud and embezzlement. Walters, who is not involved in the case mentioned, filed a lawsuit based on these fabricated statements. OpenAI acknowledged the issue, referring to it as a “hallucination” resulting from ChatGPT’s tendency to create false facts.

OpenAI’s motion to dismiss the case was rejected, prompting the request for a federal court trial. In making their argument, OpenAI’s legal counsel pointed out that the complaint seeks damages exceeding $75,000, making it eligible for federal jurisdiction. They also noted that the categories of damages sought by Walters, such as general damages and punitive damages, indicate an amount in controversy exceeding the required threshold.

The decision now rests with the federal judge, who will determine whether the lawsuit can proceed in federal court or be returned to a lower court for consideration. The outcome will shape the future of the legal dispute between Mark Walters and OpenAI over the defamatory statements generated by ChatGPT.


What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI-powered tool developed by OpenAI that engages in conversation with users, generating text responses based on the input it receives. It utilizes a language model trained on a vast corpus of text to provide contextual and informative replies.

What is the lawsuit about?

The lawsuit involves allegations of defamation against OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Mark Walters, the plaintiff, asserts that the AI tool generated false and defamatory statements about him, including accusations of embezzlement. Walters claims that these statements were fabricated and that OpenAI should be held accountable for the damage caused.

What is the significance of the case being tried in federal court?

The decision regarding whether the case will proceed in federal court or be returned to a lower court for consideration holds significant implications. Federal courts have distinct procedures and rules, and the trial outcome may set a legal precedent for future similar cases involving AI-generated content, potentially shaping the standards for liability and accountability.

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