Combination of patent law, copyright can protect AI innovation, panel suggests


Visiting Professor, Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid, participated in a panel discussion on April 8th called, Intellectual Property at a Crossroads about the impact AI will have on patent and copyright laws. The discussion took place at Bracing for Impact: The Artificial Intelligence Challenge Part II conference series hosted by IP Osgoode.

Shlomit Yanisky-Ravid, a faculty member at Ono Academic College in Israel, and Fordham Law School in New York City, kicked off the March 21 discussion by playing clips of music, asking which score was created by a human or AI. It was anyone’s guess as the music sounded eerily similar. She deployed the same test while displaying paintings, asking the conference to tell her which works of art were made by human hands.

“It’s very difficult to distinguish between an AI system and human,” she said, pointing to the humanlike capabilities of AI.

“AI systems can be creative, autonomous, unpredictable, rational,” she explained. “That’s why I think it has free choice. It can communicate with the Internet and get data even without the engineer knowing that this happened.”

Yanisky-Ravid questioned whether an AI system should own its creations, adding that giving ownership of the work to the AI’s programmer would be like saying whoever invented the camera should be the owner of a photo.

“My suggestion is taking the ‘AI for hire’ doctrine and seeing the AI system as an agent,” she added, noting that this way of thinking better reflects the understanding that AI is creative.

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