Artificial Intelligence and The Future of Literary Works

Authored by: Mary E. Rasenberger

The Routledge Companion to Copyright and Creativity in the 21st Century

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138999251
eBook ISBN: 9781315658445
Adobe ISBN:


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Copyright law and the copyright industries, including and especially book publishing, have already faced fundamental challenges in the digital age. These challenges pale in comparison to those that lie ahead with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. AI technologies could upend copyright law and the industries that rely on it in ways that will require entirely new approaches if copyright law is to continue to function as a means of incentivizing and rewarding new creation. Focusing on literary works which have always been at the core of copyright protection, this essay examines the complex challenges posed by AI to copyright law and why profound shifts in how the copyright regime is perceived and exercised may be in order. It concludes that opt-out automated collective licensing systems may be the only workable solution for striking the balance between developments in AI research and application and the rights of creators whose works are used to train AI machines. As AI becomes more sophisticated, society needs to proactively look for ways to ensure that copyright law continues to incentivize human creativity as intended by the framers of the Constitution.

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