When it comes to the privacy and intellectual property (IP) risks of AI, use case is a major impact on just how significant those risks are.
This was among the topics covered by Isha Marathe of Legaltech® News (‘Use Case’ Emerges as Key Determining Factor in AI’s IP Legal Risks, available here), where she notes that two of the most formidable of legal issues facing generative AI are privacy and intellectual property, having generated growing private litigation and regulator interest since the technology became mainstream in late 2022.
This was part of the discussion in a session titled No AI Without IP: Perspectives on IP Challenges and Solutions at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) AI Governance 2023 conference in Boston, where panelists dealt with the latter—the IP implications of AI output and training sets, and how companies can take them on at this time.
Audience members engaged the panel with a slew of queries about how they could use an AI generator to produce content or advise a client to do so, without infringing copyright. Others asked the inverse—is there a way to protect their copyrighted works from being absorbed into AI training sets?
It is not easy to answer those questions largely because the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) takes time to cultivate concrete legal consensus and guidelines about new technologies. Still, there isn’t a total absence of guiding principles. For one, a handful of cases have sprouted up across the U.S. that have dealt with issues of ownership, authorship, and the copyright infringement of AI training data and the output produced by it.
So, while panelists stressed patience when it comes to a legal framework, they highlighted the prominent factors the USCO and specific courts are relying on to determine the role of IP in AI use, ranging from the type of AI generator deployed to the use case of the AI output and the type of content that it is trained on. Within the IP regime, the panel said the “what and how” of the AI output use is emerging as key to the USCO’s copyright scrutiny.
That doesn’t surprise me. Recently, I covered an article by Melissa “Rogo” Rogozinski, where she discussed copyright considerations among other topics related to AI and marketing, and I asked the question “Where do you draw the line with ChatGPT and copyrights?” when it comes to content that is influenced by generative AI, but not totally created by it. But that’s related to a product (ChatGPT) that has a virtually unlimited list of potential use cases for it, which leads to a comparable set of copyright considerations.
However, I still think the real power of the generative AI technological boom is the use of domain-specific large language models (LLMs). Many, if not most, of these will have targeted use cases (operating on targeted sets of data), where potential IP issues can be minimized, if not eliminated. I think use case is a major impact on just how significant IP risks are for generative AI technology.
Isha’s article goes on to cover the discussion from the panelists, including copyright considerations, and she also provides takeaways from the conference in this article here. Sounds like a conference to check out next year!
Speaking of use cases, I’ll have more to say about that topic tomorrow! Cliffhanger alert! 😀
So, what do you think? Do you agree that use case is a major impact on just how significant IP risks are for generative AI technology? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
Image created using Microsoft Bing’s Image Creator Powered by DALL-E, using the term “robot applying for a copyright using impressionism”.
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