Occupy AI

Student protestors have occupied an artificial intelligence lab

Lost Books
3 min readApr 20, 2023


SAN FRANCISCO, CA — In a surprising turn of events, GenAI headquarters was occupied by a group of student protesters who are demanding direct democratic control over the company’s world-changing AI models, citing extreme risk to humanity. The students, who call themselves “The DirectAI Collective,” are staging a sit-in to protest against what they perceive as monopolistic control over emerging AI technology.

The protesters, primarily college students from San Francisco Bay Area universities, entered the GenAI offices early this morning, carrying banners and signs that read, “AI for the People, By the People,” and “Open-Source, OpenDemocracy.” The students have made it clear that they will not leave the premises until their demands are addressed.

The DirectAI Collective argues that the AI models developed by GenAI have the potential to transform global society, impacting various aspects of life including job markets, education, and communication. They argue not that there should be a moratorium on the development of these technologies, but that they should be completely publicly owned.

The group claims that these revolutionary technologies should be under the direct control of a democratic, transparent, and accountable body, rather than being in the hands of a few corporations and their shareholders.

In response, GenAI has released a statement acknowledging the protesters’ concerns and expressing their commitment to responsible AI development:

“We understand the concerns of the students and appreciate their passion for a more inclusive and democratic approach to AI development. We are open to dialogue and finding common ground to ensure that AI technology serves the greater good,” the statement read.

As the sit-in enters its second day, the local community is divided on the issue. Some support the protesters’ cause, arguing that AI technology should be developed and managed with transparency and democratic oversight.

Others, however, believe that disrupting the work of the company could stifle innovation and impede progress in the field, allowing our enemies to get ahead.

The outcome of this standoff remains uncertain, but it is clear that the DirectAI Collective has sparked a crucial debate about the future of AI governance and the role of the public in shaping its development.

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  • Occupy AI: The complete story, including 82 images.

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