I’m all alone, so are we all. We destroyed the government. We’re destroying time. No more problems on the way — Clones (We’re All), written by Alice Cooper.
According to last Friday’s Hollywood Reporter, “A federal judge on Friday upheld a finding from the U.S. Copyright Office that a piece of art created by AI [artificial intelligence] is not open to protection. The ruling was delivered in an order turning down Stephen Thaler’s bid challenging the government’s position refusing to register works made by AI. Copyright law has “never stretched so far” to “protect works generated by new forms of technology operating absent any guiding human hand,” U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell found.”
That certainly is good news to creators of all sorts — not just artists, but writers and other producers of copyrightable or patentable products. However, I suspect the majority of such gifted people will not waste carbon dioxide emitting a deep sigh of relief. Damn near all of them have been to this rodeo dozens of times; more likely hundreds. The longer you stay in the business, the more you slip on corporate dogshit.
Do not think the producers and corporate princes reading about this ruling will say “well, jeez, maybe we should start acting in a morally acceptable manner.” Hell, no. The vast majority of media moguls who possess an “annual compensation package” in excess of ten million dollars per annum confuse having their package reduced by as a direct kick to their… package. Whereas that seems fair to me, my WGA and AFTRA memberships expired a while ago.
But this ruling does give the striking creative talent a hang up: a federal court has taken the first step in creating an ethical resolution to the conflict… and, at long last, the producers have finally sat down with the Writer’s Guild to sort of discuss matters.
Yes, I know. I used the word “ethical” in conflation with the cabal of “Hollywood” producers, bureaucrats, lawyers and wannabes. If you muttered “Oxymoron,” I am your chorus. But a journey of one thousand steps start with a single traveler asking “why?”
We will wait and see. Eventually, we may run out of new entertainment product and then we will wait but we won’t see. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, “when Quinn The Eskimo gets here, the moguls are gonna doze.”
On the other hand, said the ambitious octopus, let’s not demonize the concept of artificial intelligence. Chances are you’ve been using it quite a lot, possibly unknowingly, without causing any or much harm to creators. Certainly not compared to photocopiers, scanners, and lightbox users.
Do you listen to any personalized streaming music services? Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, et cetera? Did you notice that the longer you use the service, the more accurately it caters to your likes and dislikes? It’s learning all it needs to entertain you. Can your pet do that? Your spouse? Your kids?
How about your video streaming services? They do the same thing, although, to my experience, not as well. Nonetheless, the damn machines figured out what types of documentaries to suggest to me. Damn, that’s useful.
Companies such as Meta (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp), Twitter (or whatever letter Elon’s embracing today), Amazon, and their like do, indeed, make money selling product, subscriptions and services. All that stuff are dwarf stars compared to how much they rake in by strip-mining and selling your personal data.
More important, artificial intelligence is becoming a growing part of our medical industries. Setting aside their reprehensible windfall profits just for the sake of argument, these tubes and wires are saving more lives each day while limiting (slightly, thus far) the number of animals, prisoners and grandmothers needed for experimentation.
This leaves is with one simple fact: artificial intelligence is no more the enemy than the automobile, although I am concerned about the two teaming up. Posers who knowingly steal the work of others, no matter what the form or medium, are committing theft and they are the bad guys.
These days, a whole lotta lawyers and judges are taking gizmo classes.