What is your AIQ?
Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, seems like it was dropped on us like an explosion without warning.
It literally is being discussed in its possible applications in every facet of our lives and in every industry. The potential of AI is that it could streamline many tasks that we often dread because the task is mundane yet still must get done, especially with regard to running a business. However, AI is not without a minefield of potential legal issues that many are scrambling to forecast and interpret as this technology rolls faster than any legislation to regulate it.
There are several issues with intellectual property as it relates to AI. Intellectual property is the area of law that covers patents, trademarks and copyrights. With the advent of new technology there is always a renewed concern for how it will affect or contribute to the possibility of infringement. One of the prevalent questions when AI is used to create content is, “Who is the actual author of the content?” This question has bearing on who owns the rights to license and monetize the created intellectual property.
AI does not perceive whether intellectual property is owned by another party, so users of AI will need some working savvy of how their use of AI could manipulate intellectual property in an unintended way. For example, if a retailer creates a description on their website using copyrighted material, or using a logo of a brand they are not authorized to use, there could be infringement. Likewise, if AI is being used in product development and another’s intellectual property is used without the proper licenses or permissions, it could be deemed infringement. Adding to complexity of this issue is determining who the creator/author of the content is. Some countries will allow the created content to be protected when authored or created by AI. However, in the U.S., with regard to copyright, the Copyright Office issued a policy statement that for a work to gain protection, the author must be a human.
We will also see the limits tested when this new technology is applied to both existing platforms, like social media, and new platforms, like the metaverse. As a business owner, being aware of the issues is important as the law is never out in front of the technology. In fact, it is the opposite, the technology is created, and then, usually, years later, the law is written to cover that technology development.
E-COMMERCE AND SECURITY ONLINE
The use of AI in this area will fall under how data is collected and stored when operating e-commerce or in more than one location. Focusing on your business’s data collection is preferred to increase its ability to provide an enhanced customer experience. This new focus is also in response to stricter privacy concerns for customers. Additional AI concerns revolve around malware and cloud-based storage. Some of the information communicated through these types of AI detail spending habits, customer locations, and even whether they are at home. In the wrong hands, this could present a danger to customers.
PROTECTING THE CONSUMER
Retail business owners should be aware that AI will have a legal effect on selling to customers in a new way. There may be a new way to present terms and conditions, disclosures, or even contracts. There may also be new AI implications relating to returns, refunds and the quality of goods. Already with the rise of influencers and celebrities acting as influencers, there has been an increase of litigation associated with product endorsements. Now add AI to the unknown and unforeseeable consequences of how that may impact those interactions. Lines are blurred, and legal enforcement becomes more complicated by what state has jurisdiction over the enforcement.
Of course, pointing out these potential pitfalls is not meant to alarm or frighten business owners, however understanding the potential issues involved will position your business in a way to be aware of how AI can impact it. If you have questions, seek out the advice of a qualified attorney.
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