The Human Cause

Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 21-39

Forthcoming Chapter in Research Handbooks on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence (R. Abbott, ed)

25 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2021 Last revised: 6 Sep 2022

See all articles by Daniel J. Gervais

Daniel J. Gervais

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: November 10, 2021

Abstract

This paper argues that, although AI machines are increasingly able to produce outputs that facially qualify for copyright or patent protection, such outputs should not be protected by law when they have no identifiable human cause, that is, when the autonomy of the machine is such that it breaks the causal link between the output and one or more human creators or inventors. As a species, normatively we should seek to preserve incentives for human creativity and inventiveness, as these have been hallmarks of the higher mental faculties often used to define humanness. The paper also discussed situation where human and machines work together and how courts can apply the proposed approach.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, intellectual property, creativity, inventiveness, patent, copyright, causality

JEL Classification: K00, K29, O31, O33, O34, Z11

Suggested Citation

Gervais, Daniel J., The Human Cause (November 10, 2021). Vanderbilt Law Research Paper No. 21-39, Forthcoming Chapter in Research Handbooks on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence (R. Abbott, ed), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3857844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3857844

Daniel J. Gervais (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615 322 2615 (Phone)

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