Can copyright law accommodate AI?


Peter James, Partner in our Commercial Team, was recently featured online in Lawyer Monthly. He discussed how copyright law works when intellectual property is designed and created by a machine.

“Having been involved with copyright law for more years than I care to remember, I have always been impressed by the ability of copyright to adapt to new technologies and provide the necessary level of protection to encourage creativity and entrepreneurship. However, I wonder if copyright has met its match in trying to accommodate artificial intelligence (AI). I have doubts as to whether copyright law (like patent law) can protect “non-human intelligence” within the confines of English law as it currently stands.

There are many definitions and descriptions of AI, but one good description is: “AI leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind” (IBM). In essence, it is the combination of computer power and algorithms with data sets to provide solutions to problems, make recommendations or reach conclusions. Many of us do not realise how pervasive AI is in our lives already, including speech recognition, facial recognition, chat bots and recommendation or comparison engines, to name but a few.”

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