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The Hollywood A.I.-I.P. Supernova

Arnold Shwarzenegger
(Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images
Eriq Gardner
May 2, 2022

The A.I. Wars are almost here. No, I’m not talking about Terminator or even a crackdown on Twitter bots. Instead, we’ll soon be witnessing a series of extraordinary test cases designed to force the American legal system to reconsider the concept of authorship as artificial intelligence begins to write short stories or pop songs. It may sound like a Zuckerbergian fever dream, but A.I. could soon be creating blockbuster movies and life-saving pharmaceuticals, too—multi-billion dollar products with no human creator.

The legal battle has already begun. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I’ve learned, a lawsuit will be filed that challenges the U.S. Copyright Office’s recent decision to deny an “author” identified as “Creativity Machine.” Then, a few weeks later, a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in Thaler v. Hirshfeld, an under-the-radar but potentially blockbuster case concerning whether A.I. can be listed as the “inventor” in a patent application. Meanwhile, authorities in the European Union and 15 other countries are being asked to make similar determinations to properly credit the achievements of A.I.