Here's why AI enabled computers will not take over book-creation from writers?

Is AI, Artificial Intelligence a new “animal” that will descend on us and change life as we know it? Or, is AI a technology, like any other computer program we rely on to complete tasks faster and with more accuracy?

What is AI? Is it a compound term for technologies that make work easier, faster for human beings? Would those technologies include spell-checkers, computer programs, cell phones, voice enabled Apps, chat rooms, Internet and more? If AI is an improvement-technology, can it take over the role of human beings as creatives and copyright holders?

The question on AI lingered as I listened to The Creative Penn podcast, episode 437 on “9 Ways That Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Disrupt Authors and The Publishing Industry.” I will limit my rejoinder to point number 2, “Copyright law will be challenged as books are used to train AIs which then produce work in the voice of established authors.” (See my disclaimer* below)

Related to the above, Joanna asks, who will own copyright if an author’s books were fed into an AI-enabled computer to generate a new product, book?

Here are my views on the issue:

  1. Who owns copyright to the books/literature fed into the AI-enabled computer? Is the copyright of the said books not protected under copyright law as stated in books, “No part of this book to be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted without prior and written permission of the author…”

    1. Is that not the reason we reference, attribute quoted works to their original creators, and, whenever we fail to do that it becomes plagiarism, punishable by law?

  2. What is the essence of AI, can it serve one sector of the book publishing points (use existing copyrighted literature to generate new works) and not the other points (notify published writers whenever their work is uploaded without consent)?

    1. Will blockchains for books be part of AI? If yes, what are the chances that the same AI-enabled computers will trace the literature and the new creation back to the artist, the original copyright holder.

3. In what form will users access AI? Historically, man has purchased technologies and used them as tools. What makes AI different? Assuming that none of the AI enabled machines will be free (at least we pay for computers), won’t the use of AI enabled machines to be just another tool we pay for and use, but the end product and its copyright remain with the creator?

Example: As a researcher, I rely on computer assisted data management programs to analyze large chunks of data into manageable entities. Yet, there has been no question on who holds copyright to the reports I generate.

4. On the question of lack of related laws and regulations to protect authors. Is it not that the copyright (1 above) will be infringed upon when a person other than the copyright holder uploads works of another into an AI machine without prior written consent of the original creator?

a) The assumption is that AI enabled machines, just like current computer-programs, will come with the usual disclaimers, which currently protect copyright holders.

b) Are human beings robots in this game? If not, they will formulate laws accordingly.

What was your reaction when you first encountered the Internet, Wi-Fi, Smart cars, Smart roads, airplanes, voice enabled Apps, etc.?

*I am not a certified lawyer or legal specialist. I wrote this article based on my many years as a creator, the vast knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years, and normal human intuition.


Eileen Omosa.Comment