The advent of sophisticated artificial neural networks has opened new artistic opportunities, but also a variety of new legal challenges. Computer programs such as Google's Deep Dream can take an image and process it in manners that resemble biological networks, producing artwork that is both unique and unpredictable.
The law is not unfamiliar with the challenges of artificial intelligence, in the past academics and policymakers have had to deal with the legal implications of autonomous agents in contract formation, just to name one are of interest. However, for the most part the implementation of smart systems has been limited in their reach and scope, and in many instances autonomous agents required quite a lot of direction from the programmer, following a very stringent set of rules. This meant that for the most part all rights, responsibilities and liabilities arising from artificial agents fell squarely on the program creator. Neural networks are different, these systems have the potential to generate works in which human interaction is minimal.
Modern copyright law has been drafted to consider originality as an embodiment of the author’s personality, and originality is one of the main requirements for the subsistence of copyright. So, what happens when you remove personality from the equation? Are machine-created works devoid of copyright? Do we need to change copyright law to accommodate autonomous artists? This session will explore this and other questions.