Powerful creative industry groups are now coming together to advocate for intellectual property and other rights of human workers and creatives threatened by generative AI systems.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the AFL-CIO, and SAG-AFTRA, which represents film and television actors, are among more than 40 organizations that launched a “Human Artistry Campaign” on 16 March.
The new group’s website lists a set of core principles that it says are needed to ensure support for human creativity and accomplishment, in the face of quickly advancing capabilities of generative AI systems trained on huge data sets of human-created content.
Among its goals are several contentious aspects that will no doubt face policy-makers and litigators as the AI story continues to play out:
● Requiring “authorization, licensing, and compliance with all relevant state and federal laws” for any use of copyrighted works, and use of voices and likenesses of professional performers
● Admonitions against creation of “new copyright or other IP exemptions that allow AI developers to exploit creators without permission or compensation
● “Complete recordkeeping of copyrighted works, performances, and likenesses, including the way in which they were used to develop and train any AI system,” so that IP and copyrighted materials can be traced and tracked, however AI systems resynthesize content. The granular tracking would be used to identify materials requiring licensing and other protections.
The group said in a press release announcing its formation:
“A broad coalition announced the launch of the Human Artistry Campaign to ensure artificial intelligence technologies are developed and used in ways that support human culture and artistry – and not ways that replace or erode it. With over 40 members including major unions, trade associations, and policy experts representing individual creators and rightsholders from across the entire tapestry of creative endeavor, the Human Artistry Campaign is positioned to be a leading voice in the rapidly unfolding debate over the costs and benefits of different forms of AI.”
The Campaign says that government policymakers must include representation of human creators’ interests, when making any laws and regulations concerning generative AI systems.
A2IM President and CEO Richard Burgess added, regarding the initiative:
“Artists shape our culture and help build a richer, more meaningful world. We simply cannot hand over that great responsibility to computers. AI is a wonderful tool, but it needs to complement human creativity, not replace it. We will not sit on the sidelines while Big Tech once again defines the rules for a new creative frontier.”
One of the principle companies producing the most sensational capable generative AI programs, OpenAI, has already allied itself with tech giant Microsoft.
Microsoft and other leading AI companies like Google and Amazon have deep pockets and a long history of fighting battles over IP. They also have built huge empires by usurping former industry paradigms and players, as Amazon’s Kindle has done with the book publishing industry, and as Amazon has done with online and real-world retail.
In other words, despite the heavyweights that have signed onto the “Human Artistry Campaign,” there are likely to be serious legal battles ahead, regarding the profit arrangements from quickly advancing generative AI systems.
TRENDPOST: Clearly, tech companies have already created AI boots on the ground with rollouts of systems that flew under the radar for some time, before ChatGPT’s public preview in November of 2022 blew open the door of public awareness of generative AI capabilities.
Industry groups are playing catch-up. Whether human creatives will substantially benefit from the upcoming battles between corporate groups, very much remains to be seen.
We have pointed to decentralized blockchain initiatives which can both protect and verify creative ownership, and facilitate direct transactions between content creators and consumers, and investors, while reducing the role of middle players, as a promising technological path.
Clearly, there are problems both with legacy conglomerates representing creatives, and tech companies now swallowing and deftly repackaging content via AI, while trying to hoard profit and control.
The Trends Journal has been predicting transformational consequences of rapidly advancing AI in many articles. Some touchstones include:
● “AI IS LEARNING YOUR JOB” (24 May 2022)
● “AUTOMATING OUT OF WORLD CRISIS?” (12 Jul 2022)
● “YOU WILL OWN NO SOFTWARE AND BE HAPPY—PART ONE” (18 Oct 2022)
● “YOU WILL OWN NO SOFTWARE AND BE HAPPY—PART TWO” (1 Nov 2022)
● “TOP TREND 2023: AI WE OWN YOU” (3 Jan 2023)
● “AI INNOVATION, HUMAN COST” (28 Feb 2023)
● “JOBS BEING TAKEN OVER BY AI RIGHT NOW” (28 Feb 2023)