Where is the Line Between a Photo and AI Art?

by | Mar 9, 2023 | PetaPixel

Featured image: Depositphotos

Cross-posted from petapixel.com [by Jaron Schneider]

Last month, the United States Copyright Office determined that artificial intelligence (AI) artwork cannot be copyrighted. That’s great, but with so much AI being added to cameras, where is the line? When is a photo no longer a photo?

After reading that ruling, it got us thinking about what actually constitutes AI artwork. Obviously, it encompasses generative AI from the likes of Midjourney and Dall-E as that was the focus of the ruling. But AI is starting to play a larger role in photography.

The exact language from the Copyright Office reads as follows: “The Office confirmed that copyright protection does not extend to non-human authors.”

In this ruling, the Office determined that the act of describing a scene to an AI image generator wasn’t enough to count as a human author. Since telling a generative AI platform what to create isn’t protected, what does that mean for in-camera AI tools that take input and adjust them?

Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re quite close to bleeding right over into this newly unprotected territory.

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