Who owns AI-generated content?

Ownership of AI-generated content currently lacks clear, regulatory guidelines. With deepfakes and voice cloning on the rise, businesses must learn how to handle this content.

From automation to content creation, AI services are at every consumer's and employee's fingertips. But organizations may face consequences if employees use AI-generated content and see complications around whether they can claim the rights to it.

Organizations can incorporate AI-generated content into several different areas, including graphics for internal or external presentations, copy for proposals or marketing materials. When a business publishes this content for advertising or monetization, it often must provide proof of ownership. Yet, because AI tools generated the content, this can pose questions around the uniqueness and true ownership of the content.

The answer is complicated, as generative AI tools learn from external data and possibly copyrighted material. So, organizations may not know who owns the intellectual property or copyright for AI-generated content.

What does ownership mean?

Tools like ChatGPT require a few sentences for input and can generate several pages of content, which has brought forth a new era for generating content. Still, the big question is: Who owns AI-generated content?

ChatGPT uses publicly available content to teach itself and understand the different topics users ask about. So, the true owner of AI-generated content could be the source of the articles or posts available online. While ChatGPT is not currently required to reference its sources, users should understand that this tool relies on other content to generate its responses.

However, many people also assume that the user who requests the AI-generated content owns it. This is often because users must edit the content to sound more natural and fact-check it, and they are ultimately the ones who publish it.

Currently, no laws dictate specific rules and policies around AI-generated content.

Are there laws around AI-generated content?

Major advancements in AI -- especially image creation, voice cloning and deepfakes -- have increased people's concerns in the technology, as bad actors can use it to impersonate individuals and spread misinformation. As a result, more talks around creating AI policies are beginning to take shape.

AI organizations and U.S. government entities are having active discussions to define rules around privacy, liability, copyright and intellectual property for generative AI tools and content they create. Yet, currently, no laws dictate specific rules and policies around AI-generated content.

What does the future hold?

It is undeniable that AI is here to stay, and it will transform organizations and change workforce requirements. Already, contact centers use AI-based virtual support agents and chatbots, while other organizations are reducing their dependency on content creators.

While AI has many advantages, it also presents various concerns, including potential unethical uses, bias, misinformation and true ownership. Additionally, the lack of regulations and transparency on the source of generative AI's training materials also concerns many users. As more governments recognize that AI is moving at a significantly high speed, they will aim to accelerate policy creation, but many countries are still in the early stages of defining AI policies.

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