The future of intellectual property: Al and machine learning

This topic is for discussion of “The future of intellectual property: Al and machine learning.” To go back to this session in Sched, click here.

Hi everyone,

Posting some resources to learn more from Nancy and Roy below!

From Nancy

  • See her slides (PDF) posted in the session web page;

From Roy:

TDM and law blogs
Sustainable Text and Data Mining: A Look at the Recent EU Copyright Directive | by Neil Turkewitz | Medium
Sustainable Text & Data Mining, Part II: US and Fair (and Unfair) Uses | by Neil Turkewitz | Medium


Nancy…So, if someone created a tool that created AI work that was particularly unique…there is a possibility of the artwork having copyright? Or would the tool creator be advised to patent the tool. Are they given credit for the tool output or the tool or both?

Also, I’m curious if you are aware of the work of Mario Klingemann and “his” AI artwork that has sold at Sotheby’s auction. Given that the auction attributes “ownership” to Klingemann as the artist (and I imagine he reaps the financial benefit") what kind of precedent, if anything, does this commercial transaction set for AI copyright?

Hi! I don’t think, under existing US law at least, any particular qualities of the -output- control whether it has a copyright. The relevant questions have to do with what, if any, creative choices a human made during the process of creation.
The infamous “monkey selfie” is a good example of that - it’s a striking image, a “good photo” by most measures. But I don’t think any human made any intentional choices about it’s creation (the story told by the photographer changed over time on that point), and hence it wouldn’t be eligible.
An artist who wants to own outputs of creative processes that involve AI steps should probably be thinking about when and how they (the artist) are making creative choices. I think Roy covered this well in the Q&A time.
Plus, credit has nothing to do with copyright or patent under US law. The creator or inventor of something often doesn’t own the patent or copyright.

Ah. “The creator or inventor doesn’t own the patent or copyright.” That is an important distinction. Thank you.

Ah, conceptual art and the fine arts market are far beyond my comprehension. :smiley: (I’m not familiar with this artist in particular, but I’m thinking about the banana that one guy ate, or the recent “sale” of the Nyan Cat gif…)
But it’s a good example of how subcultures (highly financialized fine art sales surely is one) all have their own understandings of “creatorship” and ownership that may be pretty far from others’, and also that may or may not actually map well onto the law.

Absolutely true. And you aptly pointed out Jeff Koons who routinely “appropriates” imagery and flirts with the courts to win or lose (as he has done both) on copyright fronts.

If this is the work in question? I think that the art isn’t so much the output of the AI, but the feedback loop remixing PD works. If i understand what the work is doing. I would posit the protectable element is the computer software running the program. Since it is a continuing feedback loop that continues to change is the art. As opposed to using AI to produce a single fixed work.