Four Theories in Search of an A(I)uthor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter discusses the question of AI as an A(I)uthor. The increasing use of machines in creating music, literature and art challenges conventional notions of copyright protection and authorship. In particular, protectability of AI-generated works under the current copyright framework is hotly debated. First, this Chapter examines whether AI meets the traditional copyrights standards of legal personhood, authorship and originality. Second, the chapter considers multiple approaches to AI-generated works from a policy perspective. They can be given public domain status, authorship can be granted to humans or the machine, the work can be given sui generis protection or rights can be granted to publishers and disseminators. Finally, this chapter considers the road ahead by assessing justifications for these policy options from different theoretical perspectives, such as fairness, personality, utilitarian/incentive, and cultural theories of intellectual property.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence
EditorsRyan Abbott
PublisherEdward Elgar
Publication statusAccepted - 12 Jan 2022


  • artificial intelligence, copyright, authorship, policy, law, technology


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