Intellectual Property in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

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    November 22, 2019

Artificial intelligence systems have made extraordinary progresses in recent years, emulating the human mind and its abilities in a significant number of typically creative activities that have always been considered the exclusive prerogative of human beings. Intelligent machines have been able to create paintings that appear to have come out of Rembrandt's brush, songs that seem to have been written by the Beatles, articles that have been published in prestigious newspapers, stories that can compete for literary awards.

From the writer as a "writing machine", theorized fifty years ago by Italo Calvino, to today's thinking machines, the result of the most recent advances in mathematics, engineering and computer science, the image of the author - as traditionally recognized by literary and philosophical theory and by copyright and intellectual property in general - is deeply modified and fragmented, and with it the consolidated ideas about the true meaning of the adjectives "authentic", "creative", "artistic". This all leads to the question of whether it is still possible to identify a clear line of demarcation between humans and machines, between human creativity and computing power, between the work of genius and the mere result of algorithmic processes, between original creation and reproduction of the existing reality.

Will machines end up replacing humans not only in the most routine and tiring tasks, as has been the case for centuries, but also in those activities that constitute the most genuine expression of the human soul? Will intellectual property law have to be rebuilt from the foundations to adapt to the new social, economic and technological reality dominated by creative machines? Should the very notions of creativity, art and authorship be rethought and rewritten?
Computer engineers and law scholars will discuss it in an interdisciplinary dialogue.

Introduction: Mirko Degli Esporti (University of Bologna); Giovanni Sartor (University of Bologna); Alberto Musso (University of Bologna); Giorgio Spedicato (University of Bologna)

Speakers: - François Pachet (Director of the Spotify Creator Technology Research Lab); Vittorio Loreto (Director of the Sony Computer Science Lab, Università La Sapienza); Bernt Hugenholtz (University of Amsterdam); Reto Hilty (Director of Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, University of Zurich).