Everyone is talking about these new AI technologies — like ChatGPT — and AI companies are touting their awesome power. But they aren’t talking about how that power comes from all of us.
For four decades, Alaskans have opened their mailboxes to find checks waiting for them, their cut of the black gold beneath their feet. This is Alaska’s Permanent Fund, funded by the state’s oil revenues and paid to every Alaskan each year. We’re now in a different sort of resource rush, with companies peddling bits instead of oil: generative AI.
Everyone is talking about these new AI technologies — like ChatGPT — and AI companies are touting their awesome power. But they aren’t talking about how that power comes from all of us. Without all of our writings and photos that AI companies are using to train their models, they would have nothing to sell. Big Tech companies are currently taking the work of the American people, without our knowledge and consent, without licensing it, and are pocketing the proceeds.
You are owed profits for your data that powers today’s AI, and we have a way to make that happen. We call it the AI Dividend.
Our proposal is simple, and harkens back to the Alaskan plan. When Big Tech companies produce output from generative AI that was trained on public data, they would pay a tiny licensing fee, by the word or pixel or relevant unit of data. Those fees would go into the AI Dividend fund. Every few months, the Commerce Department would send out the entirety of the fund, split equally, to every resident nationwide. That’s it.
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