Our response to the Government’s AI White Paper

We recently responded to a consultation on the Government White Paper “AI regulation: a pro-innovation approach”.

Our submission on the paper made it clear that the Government needs to reconsider its approach to artificial intelligence (AI) to better consider the concerns of authors, whose works are used without their permission, to develop AI models.

We believe it is important that any action taken on AI that relates to authors must ensure that it is utilised as a tool for the creative work of authors, and not as a means to bypass remuneration for their work. It is vitally important to ensure that authors are properly remunerated for the use of their work.

There must be transparency where their work is used in any way, specifying what has been used and how. Authors have a moral right to have their work attributed to them and the right to object to certain uses of their work: new technologies must not bypass this.

The existing copyright framework and licensing opportunities offer effective opportunity for the development and use of AI where authors’ works are concerned. AI developers and users must work within this framework that allows access and use alongside remuneration and fair treatment of authors.

You can read our response in full here.

ALCS Principles for AI 

We have already outlined our principles for AI that we urge the Government to incorporate in further work in the field of AI.

We believe that AI has the potential to benefit authors and support their creativity, but only if the technology develops in a way that recognises its reliance on the works of authors to function. For this to become a reality, we need an effective and appropriate policy framework.

Human authors should be compensated for their work and know when their work is used. New technologies must respect the established precedent of no use without payment. Licensing is an effective way of ensuring authors are paid for use of their work. Authors must have transparent information regarding when and how their work has been used.

Technological developments must not be used to undermine authors’ rights. New developments in technology cannot be used as an excuse to erode the established fundamental rights of authors.

Licensing terms should be carefully considered to ensure they include every use of an author’s work. New technologies are capable of analysing an existing work and using the content to create many other works. Authors should be compensated every time their work has been used to create something new, not just when their work is first analysed.

Stakeholders must acknowledge the limitations of AI. AI is trained on data created by humans, and so has a tendency to repeat and reinforce human biases and misconceptions.

Policymakers and industry should seek applications of AI that supports creatives. If AI is used to diminish the role of creatives on the creative process, it will have devastating cultural and economic consequences.

You can read our AI principles in full here.