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Recently I was testing language models like ChatGPT with WordPress questions. It does well sometimes and doesn't do that well some other times.

However, I've noticed, especially in the answers that it does well, I can sometimes figure out where it got part of the information from. I was even surprised when I saw a less than necessary comment within the code generated by ChatGPT that came from this site. Which means, it took at least part of the answer from this site.

So my question is, while we answer questions here mainly to help others, or even to show off our skills, who really own the content? Or better yet, can I post an answer here and then say that this particular answer is GPL and another one is Creative Commons and you can use whichever way you like, but you'll have to at least give attributation by law, whether you are a human being or an AI? Or is it different for humans and AI?

I've noticed at the bottom of the site it says user contents are CC:

license

but it doesn't specifically say anything about the use of the content here in generative language models.

Note: Just in case all of these sound like too many questions, my main question is what the title says. The remaining questions are just discussion points.

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    Interesting topic. We should have this discussion globally, not just in this site. FYI, I too have found a meaningless comment in ChatGPT generated code. Then I searched for the comment and well well, that part of code was copied from wordpress.org user comments! May be we should put more meaningless or fun comments within code just to catch content thieves, AI or no AI. LOL.
    – Fayaz
    Feb 1, 2023 at 8:32
  • Presumably, all AI-submitted answers are considered to be against TOS - See StackOverflow Help Section
    – Howdy_McGee Mod
    Feb 2, 2023 at 18:36
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    @Howdy_McGee that's good to know. Although my question is the opposite of that. Is ChatGPT itself (or openai) legally allowed to use content from here without attribution?
    – Futuritous
    Feb 5, 2023 at 20:14

1 Answer 1

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Well, the CC-BY-SA license (version 4.0, effective on this site as of 2018-05-02) says:

You are free to:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Under the following terms:

Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

...so if the AI harvesters are in fact obeying these tenets, then their use of the site's contributions is kosher.

But that's a pretty big if.

Caveat: I am not a lawyer.

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