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Generating Rembrandt: Artificial Intelligence, Accountability and Copyright - The Human-Like Workers Are Already Here - A New Model

73 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2017 Last revised: 24 May 2017

Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid

Yale Law School; ONO Academic College; Yale University - Information Society Project; Fordham University, School of Law

Samuel Moorhead

Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: April 24, 2017

Abstract

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are creative, unpredictable, independent, autonomous, rational, evolving, capable of data collection, communicative, efficient, accurate, and have free choice among alternatives. Similar to humans, AI systems can autonomously create and generate creative works. The use of AI systems, exercising varying degrees of autonomy, in the production of works, either for personal or manufacturing purposes, has become common. Despite this progress, there is a deep and common concern in modern society about AI technology getting out of control. There is therefore a call for social and legal tools for controlling AI systems’ functions and outcomes. These tools, as the model we suggest, must reflect the human-like features of AI systems that we identified in this article.

This paper addresses the question of who should enjoy the benefits of copyright protection for, as well as be responsible for the infringement of rights and damages caused by AI systems that independently produce creative works. This paper presents several options, arguing against the imposition of these rights and responsibilities on the AI systems themselves or on the different stakeholders, mainly the programmers, who develop such systems.

Most importantly, this paper proposes the adoption of a new model for the accountability for works generated by AI systems, which views the autonomous AI system as a creative employee or independent contractor of the user. Under this proposed model: the AI Work Made for Hire (WMFH) model, ownership, control, and responsibility would be imposed on the humans or legal entities that use AI systems. This model accurately reflects the realities and human-like features of AI systems; it is justified by the theories behind copyright protection; and it serves as a practical solution for the fears behind AI systems. In addition, this model unveils the powers behind the operation of AI systems and, hence, it efficiently imposes accountability on clearly, identified persons or legal entities. Since AI systems are copyrightable algorithms, this paper might also reflect on the accountability for AI Systems in other legal regimes, such as tort or criminal law and in various industries using these systems.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Copyright, Accountability, Workers, Work Made For Hire, Robots

Suggested Citation

Yanisky-Ravid, Shlomit and Moorhead, Samuel, Generating Rembrandt: Artificial Intelligence, Accountability and Copyright - The Human-Like Workers Are Already Here - A New Model (April 24, 2017). Michigan State Law Review, Award Winning: The 2017 Visionary Article in Intellectual Property Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2957722

Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid (Contact Author)

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

ONO Academic College ( email )

Tzahal Street 104
Kiryat Ono, 55000
Israel

Yale University - Information Society Project ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Fordham University, School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

Samuel Moorhead

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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