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April 17, 2024

An update on the latest AI developments

Here’s our summary of the latest developments in artificial intelligence and our advocacy efforts on behalf of authors and illustrators.

Government announces Select Committee on Adopting AI

The Senate has established a Select Committee on Adopting AI to inquire into and report on the implications of the uptake of AI technologies in Australia. The terms of reference include consideration of: the opportunities of the adoption of AI; the risks and harms arising from its adoption, including bias, discrimination, and error; emerging international approaches to mitigating AI risks; threats to democracy and trust in institutions; and environmental impacts.

Submissions to the Inquiry are due by 10 May, and the Committee will present its final report by 19 September 2024. The ASA will prepare a submission on behalf of authors and illustrators – read more about our position on AI.

Society of Authors UK releases AI survey results

The Society of Authors UK (SoA) has released the results of a survey of 800 authors, illustrators, and translators to investigate respondents’ experiences of generative AI and their concern about its impacts. Most alarmingly, the findings show that a quarter of illustrators and over a third of translators have already lost work due to generative AI. Similar to our own AI survey results, 94% of respondents want credit and compensation when their work is used to develop generative AI.

Bill on transparency introduced to US Congress

Congressman Adam Schiff has introduced a bill to the US Congress which would mandate transparency from AI companies relating to the copyright work they are using to train generative AI models. This follows on from work in other international jurisdictions, such as the European Union’s AI Act, requiring AI companies to be transparent about their training datasets.

It is our view that mandating transparency is an essential first step in mitigating the risks of generative AI to creators – in order to redress the harm caused by the use of creators’ work without permission or payment, and to propose licensing solutions, copyright owners and holders need to know when that work is being used.

Meta considered buying Simon & Schuster to train AI

The New York Times has reported that staff at Meta – the tech company which owns Facebook and Instagram – discussed the idea of acquiring publisher Simon & Schuster in order to have access to copyright books with which to train their generative AI system. “Negotiating licenses with publishers, artists, musicians and the news industry would take too long, they said.” The Times article is a fascinating insight into AI’s voracious appetite for content and demonstrates AI developers’ alarming disregard for creators’ intellectual property.