The downside of AI

24 January 2023

In an earlier post we explained some of the possibilities of AI. Not long after that, ChatGPT conquered the world. All of a sudden it felt as if AI had really arrived in our lives as the unlimited possibilities it offers were made tangible.

But AI programs like this also have a downside. After all, AI is nothing more than a smart program with the ability to learn, and has to get its knowledge from somewhere. ChatGPT is all about text, and it is often very difficult to ascertain which text has served as the basis (although some programs have also been created for this purpose). Programs like Midjourney and Dall E 2 create new images from a database of millions of other images made by photographers, artists and other image-makers. To say the original makers are not amused is putting it mildly.

Some image-makers have filed lawsuits against AI programs like Midjourney. But to what extent has their copyright been infringed? This question becomes even more interesting when a specific style has been copied, as style is usually impossible to protect under copyright law. In all likelihood, the claimants will have Midjourney produce images that are similar to the original images. And isn’t entering these images in an AI database an example of unlawful reproduction (copying) in the first place?

No doubt this case will take some time, but it is undoubtedly going to be a landmark case with major implications, so we will be following it closely!

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