Should Artificial Intelligence (AI) also be free? That is, should the creative works of computer-driven robots be eligible for copyright protection? Are AI-produced paintings, novels, music and other artistic efforts the product of independent inspiration? Or are they the inevitable evolution of sophisticated programming for which people deserve credit?
This is a fascinating question and one worthy of consideration on our national Independence Day.
It may require revolutionary thinking and I don’t profess to know the answer. Although I admire the idea of programming computers with all known works of famous artists to see what AI can produce, the original idea came from human brains.
For me the key criterion is self-generated creation. That is, a computer sitting alone, unprogrammed, spontaneously begins to craft a novel, generate a painting, compose a song or produce a motion picture or video.
AI was not given instructions about what or how to create, i.e. human input. The computer was not programmed to turn on at some specific time to generate the artistic program. There was absolutely no external stimulation.
In this case, I could argue that AI demonstrated independence, free will and its creation should be granted a copyright in its name.
This spontaneous inspiration would suggest something akin to a soul or organic self-awareness. We wouldn’t know.
But it’s a fascinating scenario.