Earlier this month, the U.S. Copyright Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held a joint event titled, “Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” (AI) at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The event explored how global copyright law and intellectual property law, as well as broader policy, may currently address AI technology, and included dialogue about changes that may be needed. Panelists also shared how AI is being utilized now and what future technology deployment and innovation may look like.
The event was part of a series of conversations organized by the U.S, Copyright Office and WIPO both in the United States and Europe, with the next conversation scheduled for May 11 and 12 in Geneva, Switzerland. The summit illustrated that AI presents unique opportunities for innovation, assuming intellectual property rights are respected, but questions remain in several areas, including whether machine learning is producing “original” work and whether the product of such software is inherently reproductive, derivative or the result of a system or process devoid of human action.
Globally, there are governments, businesses, academic centers and organizations, including WIPO, organizing discussion and developing strategy papers for stakeholder input. For example, the European Union commissioned a study on AI and IPR laws and WIPO issued a discussion paper seeking comments globally. Throughout the summit, it was agreed that intellectual property rights are complex national rights with differences in governmental approaches, but the need exists to assess whether current IP laws and regulations provide a framework to support and protect innovation in the marketplace.
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