AI and Law: The Next Generation

21 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2023

See all articles by Katherine Lee

Katherine Lee

Cornell University - Department of Computer Science

A. Feder Cooper

Cornell University - Department of Computer Science

James Grimmelmann

Cornell Law School; Cornell Tech

Daphne Ippolito

Carnegie Mellon University

Date Written: July 6, 2023


We are in a moment of seemingly nonstop excitement (and seemingly nonstop lawsuits) about the future of AI-assisted content creation, and the questions such creation raises about data ownership, privacy, the future of work, and how technology shapes individual and collective rights. When considering questions about rights, it is important to think not only about novel technical developments, but also novel issues such development presents for the law -- in particular, copyright law. Systems like ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion exhibit impressive capabilities; however, they have also been shown to regurgitate training data examples in their outputs, bringing about concerns regarding infringement of intellectual property rights.

Developing expertise in either area requires being attentive to the other: Doing work in generative AI without at least a passing familiarity in copyright is increasingly intractable -- and vice versa. While comprehensive expertise in both areas is an elusive goal, it is still important to be familiar with concepts in generative AI and copyright. Familiarity with key ideas across both disciplines is essential for asking more precise questions at their intersection -- questions that can meaningfully shape the futures of technical research, and law and policy.

In this explainer series, we provide salient discussion of training data, copyright, the processes of training models and generation, and future research directions. After reading this series, ML researchers and practitioners should have a better understanding of how copyright concerns may impact their technical work, and legal experts should better understand how specific technical aspects of generative AI are important to consider when analyzing concrete implications for copyright.

Keywords: generative AI, copyright

JEL Classification: K24, O34

Suggested Citation

Lee, Katherine and Cooper, A. Feder and Grimmelmann, James and Grimmelmann, James and Daphne Ippolito, Daphne Ippolito, AI and Law: The Next Generation (July 6, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Katherine Lee

Cornell University - Department of Computer Science ( email )

New York
United States

A. Feder Cooper (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Computer Science ( email )

United States

James Grimmelmann

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Cornell Tech ( email )

2 West Loop Road
New York, NY 10044
United States

Daphne Ippolito Daphne Ippolito

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

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