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AI Art Is in Legal Greyscale

February 24, 2023

“The legal ambiguity of art created by artificial intelligence adds confusion to controversy,” writes Elizabeth Penava L’23 at The Regulatory Review.

In an essay published at The Regulatory Review, Elizabeth Penava L’23 explores copyright and privacy concerns with art generated by artificial intelligence.

From The Regulatory Review:

A picture may be worth a thousand words. But what about a picture generated entirely by a machine?

That is the question scholars, advocates, and internet users have been considering lately, as art generated by artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded in popularity. Some commentators have asked who regulates this digitally created art and whether the courts can prevent theft of creative ideas and techniques in the process of its generation.

But the reality is that little regulation protects the copyrighted works used to train these AI-based technologies, and privacy protections for images used in the creation of AI-based art are scant. Advocates have called for regulatory solutions rooted in copyright and privacy law.

Toward the end of last year, popular use of the Lensa AI app, which generates stylized portraits based on users’ uploaded selfies, spurred the latest round of controversy over the ethics of AI-generated art. Debate over AI art had been raging since earlier last year, when other popular AI models such as DALL-E 2 and Stable Diffusion rapidly gained popularity.

Some commentators have noted that these programs have made art more accessible… .

The Regulatory Review is a daily online publication that provides accessible coverage of regulatory policymaking and enforcement issues across a full range of regulatory topics and from a variety of perspectives.

Launched in 2009 and operating under the guidance of Cary Coglianese, Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, The Review is edited by students at Penn Carey Law. It is part of the overarching teaching, research, and outreach mission of the Penn Program on Regulation (PPR), which draws together more than 60 faculty from across the University of Pennsylvania.

Read Penava’s full piece at The Regulatory Review.