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CC Joins Key AI Panel in Brussels

A heavily pixelated blue European Union flag with pixels scattered across it in different colors.

“EU Pixelated” by Creative Commons was cropped from an image generated by the DALL-E 2 AI platform with the text prompt “pixel art of computer code streaming across an EU flag.” CC dedicates any rights it holds to the image to the public domain via CC0.

As a part of CC’s continuing engagement in policy to shape generative artificial intelligence (AI), Brigitte Vézina, our Director of Policy and Open Culture, participated in a June session hosted by the European Internet Forum: Generative AI, Art & copyright: from creative machines to human-powered tools. The panel was held in the framework of EU negotiations on the development of the Artificial Intelligence Act, one of the world’s first regulations dedicated to AI.

The panel was chaired by MEP Dragos Tudorache, Rapporteur on the AI Act, and brought together speakers representing rightholders in the creative industries, an AI developer, and CC as the only representative of civil society present to defend the public interest. The debate touched on several copyright-related issues related to AI training, transparency and safeguards, AI-generated outputs, and more.

In our panel remarks, we emphasized how, for many years, we have been examining the interplay between copyright and AI — exploring ways in which these technologies and practices could help people build on and contribute to the commons, stimulate new creativity, and foster better sharing, i.e. sharing that is inclusive, equitable, reciprocal and sustainable.

Going forward, it is clear that a diverse, global community must be involved in guiding the regulation of generative AI, with expertise spanning the fields of copyright, certainly, but also ethics, privacy and data protection, and fundamental human rights, so that AI’s promises are fulfilled and its perils, averted.

CC will continue our work to represent the public interest in negotiations around AI policy, as well as continue to engage and grow our broad, global community to refine and share understanding of AI’s impact on the commons. Join us at our Global Summit in Mexico City during 3–6 October 2023 where our theme is AI & the Commons.

Like the rest of the world, CC has been watching generative AI and trying to understand the many complex issues raised by these amazing new tools. We are especially focused on the intersection of copyright law and generative AI. How can CC’s strategy for better sharing support the development of this technology while also respecting the work of human creators? How can we ensure AI operates in a better internet for everyone? We are exploring these issues in a series of blog posts by the CC team and invited guests that look at concerns related to AI inputs (training data), AI outputs (works created by AI tools), and the ways that people use AI. Read our overview on generative AI or see all our posts on AI.

Note: We use “artificial intelligence” and “AI” as shorthand terms for what we know is a complex field of technologies and practices, currently involving machine learning and large language models (LLMs). Using the abbreviation “AI” is handy, but not ideal, because we recognize that AI is not really “artificial” (in that AI is created and used by humans), nor “intelligent” (at least in the way we think of human intelligence).

Posted 01 July 2023