Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Can AI Robots Own Copyrights?

If an artificial intelligence writes an article, does it own the copyright?

Does an animal have rights to a photo it takes? These are questions a tech writer ponders.

Mike Masnick, writing for TechDirt, says lawyers ought to wonder, too. They are not questions for the future; it's already happening.

Evolution of Copyrights?

Naruto, the selfie-monkey, answered one copyright question. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said, uh no, animals don't have copyrights.

Creative works need a human author, so the monkey lost out. In an evolutionary way, Masnick says the same should apply to robot writers.

The issue came up because a newspaper published an article that an artificial intelligence wrote about itself. Here's a sample:

"This new, artificial intelligence approach could revolutionize machine learning by making it a far more effective tool to teach machines about the workings of the language," AI wrote.

Too Dangerous to Release?

Let that sink in. What the robot said was, AI can teach itself to write.

Forget about copyrights, we're talking about survival of a species: writers. No wonder Masnick wrote about it.

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