Intellectual property (IP) law has been strugelling to adapt with digitization and technological innovation for some time now. However, the greatest challenge is still to come. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots have been the subject of science fiction for some time. That fictional future is now a present reality. Robots have finally come but they came as creators and innovators, challenging the most traditional IP legal notions.
Today, AI and algorithms write news, poems and novels, generate artworks, create video-games, and compose and perform music. Automated intelligence can drive innovation processes on its own initiative. Do traditional IP notions such as “copying”, “originality”, “creator”, “author”, or “inventiveness” still make sense in a time of AI? Can a robot be an author? Can a robot be an inventor? Who owns AI generated works or inventions? Should AI’s inventions be considered prior art? Who owns the dataset from which an artificial intelligence must learn? Who should be liable for creativity and innovation generated by AI, if they impinge upon third parties' rights or relevant legal provisions? What about algorithmic enforcement of IP infringement online or any other sanitization of speech online operated by automated tools? Fundamental rights might be at stake but deployment of AI, sapient bots and algorithms is so pervasive online that can be hardly controlled. These are some of the thorny issues that AI generated creativity and innovation will bring about and keep us occupied for the next years to come.
Giancarlo Frosio is a Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI), University of Strasbourg. He is a qualified attorney with a doctoral degree (S.J.D.) in IP law from Duke Law School. Additionally, he holds an LL.M. from Duke Law School, an LL.M. in IT and Telecoms law from Strathclyde University, and a law degree from Università Cattolica of Milan. He is also a Non-Residential Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School and a Faculty Associate of the NEXA Research Center for Internet and Society in Turin. As an academic, Giancarlo Frosio dedicated most of his career to study the interface between technology, innovation, creativity, and intellectual property through the lens of international, European and American law. His research focuses on copyright law, digitization, history of creativity, public domain, open access, Internet and user based creativity, intermediary liability of online service providers, data protection, network information economy, access to knowledge (A2K), and identity politics.
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