HomeWinBuzzer NewsEx-Amazon AI Scientist was asked to Break AI Copyright Rules for LLMs

Ex-Amazon AI Scientist was asked to Break AI Copyright Rules for LLMs

An ex-Amazon AI researcher, Dr. Ghaderi, sued for discrimination and wrongful termination after maternity leave.

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has come under legal scrutiny following a lawsuit filed by Dr. Viviane Ghaderi, a former AI researcher at the company, who alleges discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wrongful termination. Ghaderi's lawsuit, lodged in a Los Angeles state court, claims that Amazon demoted and then dismissed her after her maternity leave, contravening both her rights and the company's stated policies. Montana MacLachlan, an Amazon spokesperson, has refuted these allegations, stating, “We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in our workplace,” and emphasized the company's commitment to investigating and addressing any such reports.

Copyright Infringement Concerns Amid AI Competition

Central to Ghaderi's complaint is the accusation that Amazon, in its pursuit to remain competitive in the field, has breached its own copyright rules. Ghaderi, who contributed to Amazon's Alexa and Large Language Model (LLM) teams, alleges that she was instructed to ignore these policies to enhance project outcomes, a directive she claims came from her team director, Andrey Styskin. Styskin allegedly justified the breach by stating, “Everyone else is doing it,” highlighting the intense pressure to match advancements by AI rivals. This accusation comes at a time when the legality of using copyrighted materials to train generative AI models is increasingly contested, with several high-profile lawsuits already filed against other tech giants.

The Path to Legal Action

Ghaderi's journey at Amazon began in 2018, marked by rapid promotions and acclaimed performance until her pregnancy announcement in 2022 led to a series of alleged adverse actions. She claims to have been pressured to delay her maternity leave, only to return to a diminished role and face comments she perceived as discriminatory. Despite her efforts to address these issues through Amazon's HR department, Ghaderi contends her concerns were largely dismissed, culminating in her dismissal after being placed on a performance improvement plan she deemed impossible to satisfy.

Keeping Pace in AI

The lawsuit not only challenges Amazon's treatment of Ghaderi but also raises questions about the company's adherence to copyright laws in the fiercely competitive AI landscape. has recently completed the second phase of its investment plan in , the emerging competitor to OpenAI, by injecting an additional $2.75 billion into the company. This move, announced in September of the previous year, signifies Amazon's largest financial commitment to another entity to date.

The total investment could reach up to $4 billion, underlining the importance of advanced large language models to the tech giant. Amazon's decision reflects a strategic effort to position its cloud service, AWS, as a formidable competitor against Microsoft's OpenAI-powered solutions.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.