In prior versions of the Usage Policy and other content guidelines, OpenAI stated rather unambiguously that using GPT products for political purposes was explicitly prohibited, even going as far to list use cases, such as generating fundraising emails.
In an interview with the New York Times, recently a member of the OpenAI team clarified the organization’s position:
Kim Malfacini, who helped create the OpenAI’s rules and is on the company’s trust and safety team, said in an interview that “political campaigns can use our tools for campaigning purposes. But it’s the scaled use that we are trying to disallow here.” OpenAI revised its usage rules after being contacted by The Times, specifying now that “generating high volumes of campaign materials” is prohibited.
This seems at odds with the current Sharing & Publication Policy, where it too states that publishing content related to political campaigns is a disallowed use.
That New York Times article and many other sources suggest that these products are being used in the wild for political purposes, seemingly operating within accepted use of OpenAI’s TOS (or maybe not having been detected by automated filtering and shut down).
I’m seeking clarification on these guidelines. Is usage of OpenAI products, such as fine-tuning on a dataset of political fundraising emails and generation of political fundraising email content, a permitted use? What constitutes “scaled use” as Kim Malfacini stated was the desired restriction?
For example, the vast majority of political fundraising emails sent today are generated by fundraising firms that send emails on behalf of dozens of political campaigns. Would a firm like this be allowed to use GPT products in their pipeline? Would only the campaigns, themselves, be permitted so as to prohibit usage at scale?
I understand this is a fast-evolving space and OpenAI’s rules are bound to be living documents. However, in this moment, it seems there’s no clear answer on which, if any, political or electoral actors would be permitted to use these products. I would appreciate an opportunity to clarify this!
edit for grammar