Are there ways to ensure the development of AI is fair for everyone? We’ve got a few thoughts.
Chances are you’ve dabbled with ChatGPT. Even if you haven’t, it’s unlikely you’ve missed the news, hot takes, and broad-ranging discussion. Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is a technological development that has been likened to the invention of the steam engine. As with any fast-paced, unchecked and transformative change – as well as raising the use and potential benefits – people around the globe have voiced concerns and pointed to the risks, many of them significant.
Why creators have voiced strong concerns
When AI can write a memo or a birthday message from the perspective of a specific book character, or create an image in the style of a particular artist it points to that AI having been trained with datasets that include work created by those writers and artists. The variety of lawsuits that have cropped up recently between creators and AI companies show that, in many cases, permission hasn’t been asked or granted.
The issue is not only that writers' and artists’ intellectual property has been exploited unlawfully, but that artistic integrity and creators’ rights to make a living from their creative work are on the line.
Open or closed generative AI? And why does it matter?
It’s important to note that when it comes to creative rights, concern is not with AI systems generally but with open generative AI models. These scrape the internet to access and use all sorts of data – in many cases without permission, acknowledgement or compensation to the creators and copyright owners of the material used. There’s no such concern, though, with closed AI systems which make use of data owned by the organisation developing the AI.
Is there a way to address concerns with open models of AI?
Licensing offers a strong solution to address concerns with open models of generative AI. It’s a way to ensure that creators can be acknowledged and rewarded when their work is used if they choose. It’s a system that already works well in Aotearoa New Zealand, and globally, in sectors including education and art resale. And overseas, some AI developers are already using collective licenses.
We’ve set down our thoughts on how AI can be developed in a way that’s fair for all of us
In stark contrast to the rapid rise of social media, it’s clear that people here in Aotearoa and around the world expect responsible regulation of generative AI.
With this in mind, we’ve put together our Artificial Intelligence Position Statement. Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) believes it's possible to harness the potential of AI – and uphold the rights of creators. And we also believe that our role as a collective management organisation and our responsibilities to both creators and copyright users, means we have a real contribution to make to the conversation on AI and its regulation in Aotearoa.
To gather our thoughts and articulate our position, over the last months, we’ve spoken and consulted with many creators, as well as the organisations which represent them. We’ve considered local and international insights, and recent regulatory developments in this area worldwide.
The resulting position statement covers how we believe open AI can, and should, be regulated to embrace the benefits and to mitigate the risks. We also set out our thoughts on licensing and why it’s a good and sensible solution for Aotearoa New Zealand.
Creators, consumers, educators, businesses – this is an issue that will affect us all
This is an issue that affects us all and so we encourage everyone to read our position statement. Our vision is a future where AI can grow and develop responsibly while the rights that are essential to creativity, and Aotearoa’s cultural heritage, are protected.
Take a look: download and read our Artificial Intelligence Position Statement here.