IFLA has shared its comments on a draft issues paper prepared by the World Intellectual Property Organisation about artificial intelligence. These look to ensure that the case for copyright exceptions, the need for preservation, and the broader impact of new rights are all taken into account.

Artificial intelligence is the subject of more and more political attention around the world. With growing awareness of both its potential applications, and the risks that it can bring, there are calls for government intervention, both at the national and global levels.

While much of the focus on artificial intelligence comes from the ethical perspective – including in the library field – there are also potentially importance implications for intellectual property (IP) policy.

These come up throughout the life-cycle – from the possibilities to use copyrighted works to enable machine learning, to the possibilities to use IP to protect AI and what it produces, to the question of whether AI itself could be deemed a copyright holder, and to the implications of IP rules on people whose lives are affected by AI-powered decision-making.  

At least stage, there is an angle for libraries who have a mission both to help users carry out research, and a broader focus on supporting individual autonomy in an informed society.

The work of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to develop a broad understanding of the policy issues around AI is therefore welcome.

IFLA’s submission on WIPO’s draft issues paper looks to ensure that the final version – which will be the basis of a wider consultation – will provide enough opportunity for libraries, library users, and those who share library values to share their feedback.

We look forward to the next version of the paper.

You can download IFLA’s submission from our publications page.