Generative AI is a minefield for copyright law

By Ziv Epstein, Jessica Fjeld, and Robert Mahari

In 2022, an AI-generated work of art won the Colorado State Fair’s art competition. The artist, Jason Allen, had used Midjourney – a generative AI system trained on art scraped from the internet – to create the piece. The process was far from fully automated: Allen went through some 900 iterations over 80 hours to create and refine his submission.

Yet his use of AI to win the art competition triggered a heated backlash online, with one Twitter user claiming, “We’re watching the death of artistry unfold right before our eyes.”

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