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Advanced Introduction to Law and Artificial Intelligence

Woodrow Barfield Ugo Pagallo

Woodrow Barfield and Ugo Pagallo present a succinct introduction to the legal issues related to the design and use of artificial intelligence (AI). Exploring human rights, constitutional law, data protection, criminal law, tort law, and intellectual property law, they consider the laws of a number of jurisdictions including the US, the European Union, Japan, and China, making reference to case law and statutes.
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Copyright law

Woodrow Barfield Ugo Pagallo


. The following chapter discusses the role of patent law for AI.

There are numerous examples of AI programs composing music, writing a poem, or even authoring an original story.2 If statutory requirements are met, these examples of creativity may be considered a work of authorship under copyright law. An issue of importance for awarding IP rights is determining who is the author of works created by AI? Determining who should be considered the copyright holder of AI-generated works is important because, under current copyright law, if no human can be identified as an author, then AI-generated works could be considered in the public domain (thus influencing the decision of whether to use AI to create works of authorship in the first place). There are a number of reasons why it is currently difficult, if not prohibitive, to award copyright to an AI entity. For example, in the US, law scholar Pamela Samuelson argued in 1986 that computers have not been and should not be treated as authors, because they do not need incentives to create.3 Ralph Clifford argued in 1997 that because computer programs cannot be “authors” in a statutory sense, computer-created works are uncopyrightable.4 And in 2012, Annemarie Bridy concluded that the US copyright system “cannot vest ownership of the copyright” in a computer that “has no legal personhood.”5 As discussed in more detail below, Bridy recommended using the legal fiction of the works-made-for-hire doctrine to avoid conceptual issues associated with copyrightable material produced by non-humans...

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