Stack Overflow Users Are Revolting Against an OpenAI Deal | EUROtoday

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On Monday, Stack Overflow and OpenAI introduced a brand new API partnership that can combine Stack Overflow’s technical content material with OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI assistant. The deal has sparked controversy amongst Stack Overflow’s consumer neighborhood, with many expressing anger and protest over using their contributed content material to assist and practice AI fashions.

“I hate this. I’m just going to delete/deface my answers one by one,” wrote one consumer on sister website Stack Exchange. “I don’t care if this is against your silly policies, because as this announcement shows, your policies can change at a whim without prior consultation of your stakeholders. You don’t care about your users, I don’t care about you.”

Stack Overflow is a well-liked question-and-answer website for software program builders that permits customers to ask and reply technical questions associated to coding. The website has a big neighborhood of builders who contribute data and experience to assist others resolve programming issues. Over the previous decade, Stack Overflow has grow to be a closely utilized useful resource for a lot of builders in search of options to frequent coding challenges.

Under the introduced partnership, OpenAI will make the most of Stack Overflow’s OverflowAPI product to enhance its AI fashions utilizing content material from the Stack Overflow neighborhood—formally incorporating data that many consider it had beforehand scraped and not using a license. OpenAI can even “surface validated technical knowledge from Stack Overflow directly into ChatGPT, giving users easy access to trusted, attributed, accurate, and highly technical knowledge and code backed by the millions of developers that have contributed to the Stack Overflow platform for 15 years,” in accordance with Stack Overflow.

In return, OpenAI plans to supply attribution to the Stack Overflow neighborhood inside ChatGPT, however how the corporate will do this precisely is unclear. Stack Overflow can even use OpenAI know-how in its improvement of OverflowAI, an AI mannequin introduced in July 2023 that makes use of an LLM to supply solutions to developer questions.

While the businesses tout the collaboration’s advantages, many Stack Overflow customers have expressed their displeasure with the deal. This is very true contemplating that till very not too long ago, Stack Overflow appeared to take a damaging stance towards generative AI on the whole, banning solutions written utilizing ChatGPT. It was additionally broadly reported final yr that ChatGPT’s reputation had severely diminished Stack Overflow’s site visitors, although the corporate appeared to later refute that, claiming defective evaluation by outsiders.

Since the announcement, some customers have tried to change or delete their Stack Overflow posts in protest, arguing that the transfer steals the labor of those that contributed to the platform and not using a option to decide out. In retaliation, Stack Overflow employees have reportedly been banning these customers whereas erasing or reverting the protest posts. On Monday, a Stack Overflow consumer named Ben took to Mastodon to share his expertise of getting suspended after posting a protest message:

Stack Overflow introduced that they’re partnering with OpenAI, so I attempted to delete my highest-rated solutions.

Stack Overflow doesn’t allow you to delete questions which have accepted solutions and plenty of upvotes as a result of it might take away data from the neighborhood.

So as an alternative I modified my highest-rated solutions to a protest message.

Within an hour mods had modified the questions again and suspended my account for 7 days.

Stack Overflow moderators have acknowledged that after posts are made, they grow to be “part of the collective efforts” of different contributors and will solely be eliminated underneath extraordinary circumstances, in accordance with The Verge. Stack Overflow’s phrases of service additionally state that customers can’t revoke permission for Stack Overflow to make use of their contributed content material.

While Stack Overflow owns consumer posts, the location makes use of a Creative Commons 4.0 license that requires attribution. We’ll see if the ChatGPT integrations, which haven’t rolled out but, will honor that license to the satisfaction of disgruntled Stack Overflow customers. For now, the battle continues.

This story initially appeared on Ars Technica.