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Authors Guild Submits Written Testimony in Senate AI Hearing

The east front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., by day

Last week, the Authors Guild submitted a written testimony before the Senate Intellectual Property Subcommittee in connection with the subcommittee’s July 12 hearing on artificial intelligence.

The Guild’s testimony underscored the threat to the writing profession from unregulated use of generative AI technologies that can produce stories, books, and other text-based works and displace the works of human authors in the marketplace. The testimony also called Congress’ attention to the inherent unfairness of AI companies’ use—without consent, credit, or compensation—of millions of books, articles, essays, and other written works to “train” generative AI systems and essentially making them a part of the AI’s fabric. The Guild emphasized that unless Congress intervenes to put guardrails around the development and use of generative AI technologies, the important copyright incentives that drive original expression and enrich our cultural discourse will be rendered meaningless.

In addition to elaborating the risks to the writing profession, the Guild proposed detailed policy recommendations that would require AI companies to seek permission for using writers’ works, pay compensation to writers who allow their works to be used, disclose training data, and pay writers for use of their styles, names, likeness, and parts of their works in AI output.

You can read the full testimony and policy recommendations here (PDF).