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The ChatGPT (“Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer”) artificial intelligence chatbot from OpenAI, recently released at the end of November 2022, has been receiving quite some attention for its powerful ability to chat in natural language, and provide information about almost anything.  Some say it’s better than a Google search.  

According to CNET:  “It’s a big deal. The tool seems pretty knowledgeable if not omniscient. It can be creative, and its answers can sound downright authoritative.”

This sort of capability is going to greatly challenge existing legal frameworks for the protection of content (in this case, written content), and possibly disrupt the knowledge workforce.  Although note that this AI has been trained on a vast amount of existing online information, and is not some sort of crystal ball fortune telling oracle!

Nonetheless, I asked ChatGPT whether copyright will still exist with the advent of artificial intelligence?  Here was the answer:

Copyright law is intended to protect the creations of individuals and organizations, including original literary, artistic, and musical works, as well as certain other types of creative expression. In this sense, copyright will likely continue to exist in the future, regardless of whether or not artificial intelligence (AI) is involved.

That being said, the use of AI may raise new questions and challenges for copyright law. For example, it is possible that AI could be used to create original works of art, music, or literature. In such cases, it may be unclear who should be considered the “author” or “creator” of the work, and how copyright protection should be applied. Similarly, AI may be used to generate modified versions of existing works, which could raise questions about the extent to which such modifications are covered by copyright.

To address these and other issues, it may be necessary to develop new legal frameworks or to adapt existing copyright laws to take into account the role of AI in the creation of copyrighted works. It is also possible that new technologies or approaches, such as blockchain, could be used to help record and enforce copyrights in the digital age. Ultimately, the impact of AI on copyright law will depend on how it is used and the specific legal and policy decisions that are made in response.

It’s a little vanilla in tone, but substantively, I don’t think a human could have put it any more succinctly!  

You can read about ChatGPT at the OpenAI website, and even give it a try.  Ask it to tell you a joke, or suggest a recipe, or even summarise complex areas of law (on that, however, proceed with great caution – still get a qualified human lawyer to advise properly). 

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