The USPTO asks: Does AI have creative ability or is it simply stealing someone else’s work?

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) is destined to replace some human jobs in the future, foreign media reported. But can something created by AI technology have copyright? Can its creation infringe the copyrightof others? These are questions that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hopes to get answers from the public.

The USPTO asks: Does AI have creative ability or is it simply stealing someone else's work?

AI is now no doubt a buzzword for tech start-ups and established companies. In some cases, it involves only advanced algorithms, but complex self-taught computer systems with humanoid characteristics are also being actively developed.

As these AI technologies become more advanced, they raise more ethical and legal issues. The USPTO recently acknowledged this and launched a public consultation on it. “Artificial intelligence technology is becoming increasingly important in a variety of technical and commercial fields. AI presents unique challenges in the field of intellectual property law,” the USPTO wrote.

The USPTO is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and handles a variety of intellectual property issues. It had previously raised the question of how AI technology would affect patent law, but now it extends it to copyright issues.

It is understood that the first step in public consultation is to ask whether anything AI creates without human involvement – including music, images, texts, etc. – can be copyrighted. Then there’s the kind of effort that needs to be put into copyrighting something. Another question is about whether AI may infringe copyright, in other words, can AI become pirated content?

The USPTO said it would not favour any particular point of view and would welcome more feedback from AI people, rather than just the questions it raised.

It is reported that the consultation will end on December 16.

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