A liable suit was filed on June 5, 2023 in Georgia against OpenAI for Libelous Writings by ChatGPT. This appears to be the first law suit against an AI, at least the first against ChatGPT for Libel. See below for the full complaint.
In view of the spoofing and reliability issues prevalent now, I felt compelled to personally verify with plaintiff’s counsel, John R. Monroe, that this was a real case. He did so verify and also provided me with a true copy and correct of the actual complaint he filed in Georgia State Court. This was by email a few minutes ago. He said nothing to me about the case (as is entirely proper, although I did ask for a comment.) Mr. Monroe just sent me the complaint. I also personally verified that John R. Monroe, is a member in good standing of the Georgia Bar. The libel complaint is a quick read and I suggest you check it out. See below and attached. I will try to follow this case as it progresses.
Basically the allegations are that ChatGPT (version not identified) libeled the plaintiff by hallucinating and telling a journalist about a law suit that did not, and does not exist. In this made-up law suit, the libeled plaintiff here, Mark Walters, had supposedly been sued for “breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and other claims arising from Walters’ misappropriation of SAF’s funds and assets for his own benefit, and his manipulation of SAF’s financial records and bank statements to conceal his activities.” See Exhibit “A” to the libel complaint below and attached.
This hallucination was prompted by a third-party journalist and OpenAI subscriber, Fred Riehl, who used ChatGPT to summarize a real case concerning Second Amendment issues. The journalist asked ChatGPT to provide a summary of the allegations and provided a link to ChatGPT of the complaint (thus I presume this was a newer version of ChatGPT that can read links, but perhaps not, which would explain a lot). The link and complaint appears to be a real case in federal court concerning Second Amendment rights, which seeks a declaration and injunctive relief: https://www.saf.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Dkt-1-Complaint.pdf.
The summary response by ChatGPT of this real case is where the AI hallucination and libel begins. Walters alleges that ChatGPT told the journalist, Riehl, who was supposedly investigating the Second Amendment case, that the case was against Walters, which it was not (Walters was not a party to the case, although he is apparently well-known concerning Second Amendment issues). ChatGPT also told Riehl that the case accused Walters of defrauding and embezzling funds. There are no such allegations. The case has nothing to do with Walters. The journalist then asked ChatGPT “to provide him with a copy of the portion of the complaint related to Walters.” Chat GPT replied and provided the same made up allegations against Walters that were supposedly in the complaint. Now Riehl responded by asking ChatGPT to provide him the entire text of the complaint. That is when ChatGPT responded by generating the fictitious complaint, Exhibit “A” to Walter’s complaint. It also purports to be in district court and even has a made-up case number, but no signature line.
I am going to refrain from analysis and adopt a non-interference position here; just report the facts and get this news out fast. See below for the libel complaint and its exhibit. This is real.
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