Is Generative AI Legal? The Answer is Complicated
Generative AI has had a very good year. Corporations like Microsoft, Adobe, and GitHub are integrating the tech into their products and startups are raising hundreds of millions to compete with them. But listen in on any industry discussion about generative AI, and you’ll hear, in the background, a question whispered by advocates and critics alike in increasingly concerned tones: is any of this actually legal?
Advocates of generative AI argue that the technology is transformative, and that its potential uses far outweigh any legal concerns. Critics, on the other hand, argue that the technology is dangerous, and that its potential uses could do irreparable harm to individuals and society as a whole.
So, is generative AI legal? The answer, unfortunately, is that it’s complicated.
On the one hand, there are a number of existing laws and regulations that could potentially be used to regulate generative AI. For example, copyright law could be used to protect the creators of original works generated by AI. And, in the European Union, a new regulation known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could be used to protect the privacy of individuals whose data is used to train generative AI models.
On the other hand, there are also a number of ways in which generative AI could be used in ways that would violate existing laws and regulations. For example, generative AI could be used to create fake news articles or to generate pornographic images of real people without their consent.
So, what’s the bottom line? The bottom line is that, as with any new technology, the legality of generative AI is still very much up in the air. It will likely take years of court cases and legislative debates to figure out how to properly regulate this transformative new technology.