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Shared fate: Protecting customers with generative AI indemnification

To our customers:

At Google Cloud, we put your interests first. This means that when you choose to work with us, we become partners on a journey of shared innovation, shared support, and shared fate. We are committed to helping you evolve as technology advances, drawing on our depth of experience to ensure you can use the latest and best technology, while keeping you safe and protected. When it comes to the rapidly developing world of generative AI, this is imperative.

Earlier this year, we embedded Duet AI — an always-on AI collaborator — across our products, from Google Workspace to Google Cloud Platform, and made major advancements to Vertex AI that allow customers to safely, securely, and responsibly experiment and build with generative AI foundation models. We’ve been thrilled to see the innovative use cases you’ve developed from across many industries. We put a lot of thought into how we can instill trust and confidence into these AI offerings, and today we’re pleased to share how we’re addressing one key area of interest for our customers: intellectual property indemnity as it pertains to generative AI.

We’ll explore this complex topic in detail below, but to put it plainly for you, our customers: if you are challenged on copyright grounds, we will assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved. To do this we will employ a two-pronged, industry-first approach designed to give you more peace of mind when using our generative AI products. The first prong relates to Google’s use of training data, while the second specifically covers generated output of foundation models.

If you are challenged on copyright grounds, we will assume responsibility for the potential legal risks involved.

Taken together, these indemnities provide comprehensive coverage for our customers who may be justifiably concerned about the risks associated with this exciting new frontier of generative AI products. While these indemnities provide powerful protections, we are also committed to maintaining an ongoing dialogue with our customers about other specific use cases that may need coverage.

Let’s look at each of the indemnities in greater detail.

Indemnity 1: Training data
The indemnity for training data used by Google for generative AI models in all our services is actually not a new protection. We have always stood behind all of our services, including generative AI services, by offering a third-party intellectual property indemnity as standard for all customers. However, we’ve heard from many of you that while your company appreciates our general services indemnity, you would like explicit clarification with regards to the training data behind the Google models that those services leverage. We are happy to deliver this reassurance.

Specifically, our training data indemnity covers any allegations that Google’s use of training data to create any of our generative models utilized by a generative AI service, infringes a third party’s intellectual property right.

What does this training data indemnity mean for our customers?
We hope this gives you confidence that your company is protected against third parties claiming copyright infringement as a result of Google’s use of training data. Put simply, regardless of the training data underlying all our services, Google indemnifies you.

Indemnity 2: Generated output indemnity
The generated output indemnity provides you with a second layer of protection, as the generated output is created by our customers in response to prompts or other inputs that they provide to our services. With this second layer of protection, our indemnity obligations now also apply to allegations that generated output infringes a third party’s intellectual property rights.

The generated output indemnity will apply to Duet AI in Google Workspace and to a range of Google Cloud services. As a part of today’s announcement, products covered include:

Duet AI in Workspace, including generated text in Google Docs and Gmail and generated images in Google Slides and Google MeetDuet AI in Google Cloud including Duet AI for assisted application developmentVertex AI SearchVertex AI ConversationVertex AI Text Embedding API / Multimodal EmbeddingsVisual Captioning / Visual Q&A on Vertex AICodey APIs

An important note here: you as a customer also have a part to play. For example, this indemnity only applies if you didn’t try to intentionally create or use generated output to infringe the rights of others, and similarly, are using existing and emerging tools, for example to cite sources to help use generated output responsibly.

What does this generated output indemnity mean for our customers?
The generated output indemnity means that you can use content generated with a range of our products knowing Google will indemnify you for third-party IP claims, including copyright — assuming your company is following responsible AI practices like the ones described above.

What do both indemnities together mean for our customers?
It means that you can expect Google Cloud to cover claims, like copyright infringement, made against your company, regardless of whether they stem from the generated output or Google’s use of training data to create our generative AI models. By offering a two-pronged generative AI indemnity protections, we are providing balanced, practical coverage for relevant types of potential claims. By offering these indemnities on our public service terms page (see below), customers will automatically receive the benefit of these terms without needing to amend their existing agreement.

This is just the first step, and as we continue working together on our shared generative AI journey, we will continue to support you in making sure you can use our services safely, securely and confidently. With protections like these, we hope to give you the assurance you need to get the best out of generative AI for your business.

You can read the exact terms of services here for Google Cloud and here for Workspace.

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