Generative AI versus intellectual property (includes documentary)

Recent times highlight a transformative landscape including art and media. Generative artificial intelligence, or AI, introduced a new medium for individuals to create content such as text, image, video and other formats. This expedited process, compared to traditional content creating methods like graphic designing, photography and writing, raises recent concerns regarding intellectual property. In December 2023, the New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft for copyright infringement; the Times claims the companies illegally used the Times’ protected information to train large language models.

The documentary features two artists, South Florida portrait photographer Christopher Castillo and Ariel Baron-Robbins, facilitating different styles and visions. Generative AI broke boundaries for individuals like Baron-Robbins to develop art through prompting AI. On the contrary, Castillo, better known as Christography, faces challenges in navigating against this new medium. How does generative AI challenge smaller or independent creatives, and how do companies employ copyright laws against generative AI companies for compensation?

Baron-Robbins argues why generative AI is fair use and authentic for creating content. “Five billion images… your work better be pretty famous to even say in the style of blank as their prompt for an AI,” says Baron-Robbins.

We spoke to experts and enthusiasts regarding the issue to provide insight on the hidden challenges and opportunities generative AI holds. The complex issue is backed by strong arguments on both sides but striking a balance between generative AI and traditional artists is crucial as society navigates an evolving era for content and media.

Angelo Ortega is a junior majoring in digital and interactive media with a minor in marketing. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a career as a travel content creator, hoping to provide insight into different cultures and conflicts throughout the world.

Steven Ramirez is a dynamic student majoring in Digital Media and Communications - Digital Interactive Media complemented by a minor in Social Media & E-Marketing Analytics. Eager to explore the intersection between technology and creativity, he plans to specialize in generative AI within the media and automation spheres. Steven aims to harness his diverse academic foundation to innovate and lead in the digital landscape.

Nayeli Membreno is a journalism and communication major with a minor in English. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, but with Argentinian roots, she brings a multicultural perspective to work. She is passionate about storytelling and enjoys keeping people informed through her writing. Her goal is to share stories, uncover the truth, and give a voice to those who need to be heard.