OpenAI Access On Stack Overflow Sparks Debate

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Stack Overflow’s new deal giving OpenAI access to its API as a source of data has users who’ve posted their questions and answers about coding problems in conversations with other humans rankled. Users say that when they attempt to alter their posts in protest, the site is retaliating by reversing the alterations and suspending the users who carried them out.

Programming advice 

A programmer named Ben posted a screenshot yesterday of the change history for a post seeking programming advice, which they’d updated to say that they had removed the question to protest the OpenAI deal. “The move steals the labour of everyone who contributed to Stack Overflow with no way to opt-out,” read the updated post.

Like other platforms that derive their value from user-generated content, Stack Overflow owns users’ posts. As part of its terms of service, users “cannot revoke permission” for the site to use what they contribute to the platform. But the site uses a Creative Commons 4.0 license, which requires attribution.

The problem that’s left is the lack of transparency about where a chatbot’s answers are coming from. If ChatGPT or another bot answers a question and part of it isn’t in the source cited, was it hallucinated, or did it come from somewhere else?

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Source: Theverge