In this episode, we talk to Dr. Hayleigh Bosher, Associate Dean and Reader in intellectual property law at Brunel University and host of the podcast Whose Song is it Anyway?, a podcast on the intersections of IP [intellectual property] and the music industry. Hayleigh gives us some great insight into tomorrow's legal disputes over AI and music copyright. She tells us why AI can never create an original song, what it takes to sue a generative AI company for creating music in the style of someone, and why generative AI risks missing the point about what creativity is.
Hayleigh is a Reader in Intellectual Property Law and Associate Dean (Professional Development and Graduate Outcomes) at Brunel University London, as well as, Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Intellectual Property, Policy and Management, a legal consultant in the creative industries, an advisor for the independent UK charity for professional musicians, Help Musicians, writer and Book Review Editor for the specialist IP blog IPKat.
Hayleigh is well-recognised in the field of intellectual property law, in particular copyright law and the creative industries, and has attained an international reputation in the field of music copyright in particular. Her work in this area has been cited extensively in academic, practitioner and policy outputs and she is regularly interviewed by numerous national and international media outlets, including the BBC, ITV, Sky News, Channel 5 News and The Guardian, The Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Reading [and Listening!] List:
Whose Song is it Anyway?: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/whosesongisitanyway
Copyright in the Music Industry Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5aRzM1QCzZcmSSIMmTWDat?si=9698a0b470474275&nd=1
Bosher, H. (2021) 'Copyright in the Music Industry A Practical Guide to Exploiting and Enforcing Rights'. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISSN 10: 1839101261 ISSN 13: 9781839101267
Hi, I'm Dr. Kerry McInerney. Dr. Eleanor Drage and I are the hosts of The Good Robot Podcast. Join us as we ask the experts what is good technology, is it even possible, and how can feminism help us work towards it? If you want to learn more about today's topic, head over to our website, www.thegoodrobot.co.uk, where we've got a full transcript of the episode, an especially curated reading list by every guest. We love hearing from listeners, so feel free to tweet or email us. And also so appreciate you leaving us a review on the podcast app. But until then, sit back, relax, and enjoy the episode.
In this episode, we talked to Dr. Hayleigh Bosher, Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer in intellectual property law at Brunel University and host of the podcast, whose song is it anyway? A podcast on the intersections of IP and the music industry. Hayleigh gives us some great insight into tomorrow's legal disputes over AI and music copyright.
She tells us why AI can never create an original song, what it takes to sue a generative AI company for creating music in the style of someone, and why generative AI risks missing the point about what creativity is. We hope you enjoy the show.
Thank you so much for joining us, Hayleigh. It's such a pleasure to get a chance to chat to you. For all those who are listening who might not know, Hayleigh is the host of a fantastic podcast called, Whose Song is It Anyway?, on the intersections of IP and the music industry. And we thought a really fun way to start this episode would be to play a song that had been at the center of some kind of copyright or IP dispute, and they get Hayleigh to explain it.
And then this morning at about 2:00 AM I woke up because I like, you know when you pull something in your neck and you then can't turn your head, so I was sort of glumly staring at the ceiling. I realized that actually if we did that, then wouldn't this episode get taken down?
It's a really good question. And basically this is one of those situations where like the law and the technology don't necessarily align because if we were doing this kind of like offline, then to play an extract of a song to then critique, it would clearly fall within the copyright exception for criticism and review.
However, the technology doesn't understand copyright exceptions, and so what would happen is, The content idea, or whatever it is, if you put this on YouTube, for example, would just match the fact that you'd used a song in your recording and probably take it down. So the risk would've been that it did get taken down, even if technically, I mean you could have argued back, but it's not a reliable system.
oh, that's fascinating. I think that happened to you once. Eleanor, right, with a Eleanor does TikTok for a data rights organization called The Citizens, I think once, didn't one of your videos get flagged for something that we couldn't figure out why/
Ooh yes. I think there was like a bottle in it and they thought that it was alcohol, but it wasn't. It was like squash. So I'm not sure whether that was the we are not really sure what happened I like messaged Kerry frantically being like ah help me understand TikTok and that's what we came up with. But anyway it was accepted in the end. I was telling my friend cos I'm at my friend's house at the moment about like generative AI and all the problems this poses to copyright and I think it's something that really captures everyone. Like everyone knows something about music can imagine that it's a big issue.
I'm using this opportunity to say that I'm also at my friend's house. For anyone watching , it's not my house. I don't live like royalty, but some of my mates do, apparently. And yes, I would agree. I actually recently finished this project for the UK IPO about perception of IP (intellectual property) and discussions around IP topics on social media and in the press media and the research showed that there's just like an increase over time in terms of people engaging in discussion about these topics. I mean, it's something that I still spend a lot of time trying to convince people that copyright and IP is like actually interesting and not boring, but there is, so there is still that kind of misconception, I think. But at the same time, we all know something about music or theater or film or social media, and we can kind of see where those things that we are interested in like smash into the law. And maybe it doesn't make sense and that's what makes it interesting where you're like, well, you know, It doesn't seem right that it's like that or this, everyone's got an opinion about whether they think Ed Sheeran did or didn't copy the song that he's... one of the cases he's been in in the last 10 years, you know?
So I definitely think it's becoming something that's of more interest to the public, and that's actually what that project showed that I did with the IPO recently.
Wow that's fantastic. So actually for the benefit of our lovely listeners could you share a little bit more about you and so let us know, you know, we've covered that you work in IP in the music industry and that you are a real expert in this area. You get called on a lot to do kinds of public broadcasting about it but I'd love to hear a bit more about you and what's got you to be interested in the intersections of technology and IP.
Sure. So yeah, I'm an academic at Brunel University and I specialize in intellectual property law. I did a PhD in copyright law at the time, it was looking at what piracy, although I hate to use that word, but that's what people know, what I mean, copyright infringement is the technical term. And I've always, before I did law, I did performing arts.
I've always had an interest in the arts. And when I studied law, I found a lot of it really boring until I found entertainment law and intellectual property law. And I was like, yes, a marriage of my favorite things. And I now spend my time doing two things really. One is helping creators understand more about their rights, empowering them to understand, you know, what their rights are and how to enforce them and how to utilize them.
And also, I do a bit of policy work. So I look at the laws around the creative industries, in particular, the music industry and see where those laws could be better or more effective. And obviously in view of evolving technologies, this is a massive part of the work that I'm currently doing. I was recently in the science, innovation and technology select committee evidence session about how AI is impacting the creative industries and as I mentioned, all of that stuff clashes with IP rights and copyright law. That's the bit that like people don't tend to know so much about, but that's one of the ways that we can kind of regulate the technology to make sure that all of the different people involved in the development of the new technology, but also in the creative industries can be protected and and benefit fairly.
I wanted to ask what is wrong with piracy as a term.
I don't like it because I think it's quite emotive and metaphorical and I think that it polarises the discussion. Like people either think pirates are like quite cool, like Pirates of the Caribbean vibes, so it's like pirating is fine because it's like this kind of you know, off of society kind of non-conformist rebel, but in a like cheeky good way approach or you think of pirate in like a negative way, in which case the people who are legally streaming films, for example are, just wrong and evil and all that kind of stuff. And I don't think either of those paint the correct picture of what online copyright infringement is really about, which is a combination of, you know, lack of knowledge and understanding around how the law works because, research from the UK IPO shows that people who consider themselves fans of music are the most likely to illegally stream music and same for film.
So they are obviously not connecting the fact that you're not appreciating the person you're a fan of if you are not, you know, sharing the wealth with them, that kind of thing. So I think there's a lot of misunderstanding around how copyright works and the whole system.
There's also issues around the dissemination of works and the easy access of works. The second reason in that research study for people illegally streaming film for instance, is because it's easy. So it's easier for them to just search the name of the film and find an illegal version of it where, for instance, say you're signed up to Netflix, but it's not on Netflix, it's on Amazon or something, and they don't wanna join a whole 'nother subscription service.
So sometimes it's that. Do you know what I mean? The whole point is it's a very nuanced discussion, and so pirate for me is not a helpful way of thinking.
Yeah no you're totally right It actually takes me forever to find things online illegally I am not the right person I I dunno how people do it. I always end up with some absolute appalling version or like it's actually in Spanish or something.
Did you guys have that ad You know like you wouldn't steal a car, like that ad That's all I can think of when you said piracy and it gave me such a warped idea of streaming in general cuz yeah that's the only like association I now have.
Well, I think it's really accurate because also I did it like 10 years ago, so it was at the time that kind of approach to it. And I think they just tried to sort of like criminalize it like, you are a bad person if you do this. And I'm like, but that's not really a helpful way of having that discussion where I think personally, if you explain to people, especially if they consider themselves a fan of music, that if you understand it, like you never pay, that artist, then they'll have to quit and go and get another job because they can't pay their rent. So like you should support financially the people that you are fans of and actually the people benefiting from you pirating that stream, whatever, is the aggregator, you know, the Pirate Bay make money. They're, you are supporting that system as opposed to the people that you're actually a fan of. And I just think that's a much better, I mean, it's a complicated conversation to be having. But I think that approach with those, that advert and I the same, the ones where you see like empty cinemas and it's like piracy kills the cinema and piracy is crime and all of that stuff. I just think it's unhelpful way of framing that conversation.
Well we'll ask later on if AI is pirating the system then but first we really want your response to our big three good robot questions. So what is good technology, Is it even possible And how confirm and help us get there? And specifically focusing on you know the eyes of the law or or the kinds of technologies that that you look at.
These are huge questions. I think technology is neutral and you can use it for good or bad. I also could get into a whole hour discussion about what is good or bad. Take the piracy example, right? So the way you frame a conversation to put someone in this box of like, what you are doing is bad or wrong, it's just for me, often an unhelpful way of framing a discussion in lots of situations, not just in that scenario. So I think that with technology it's the same. Framing it as good or bad is not necessarily helpful. I think the technology itself is neutral. However, it can be used for good or bad. I'm doing inverted commas. If someone is listening to this on the audio I'm like waving my hands around.
But I think that the law and feminism as a kind of lens to view technology are helpful ways to think about justice and service.
For me, AI or any technology really being in the kind of good category, if you wanna put it in that category, is something that is solving a problem, making the world a better place.
Being of service, being of, of use, and not discriminating or displacing humans. And I think that thinking about those concepts through the lens of feminism or through the lens of the legal system. I mean the legal system, less so because I said this in the committee the other day, there are laws, laws are supposed to reflect technology in many to society in many ways and so there are laws that now we would think horrific if that was the law now, right? Think of things that are now legal, that used to be illegal. And so sometimes I think the specific regulation is not always a good lens. What I mean by thinking of the legal lens really, especially in terms of copyright, is more like principles of like, why do we have copyright?
What are the legal kind of philosophical justifications for copyright? And those can be helpful lenses. I don't necessarily mean section two four of the whatever act, I think because laws can change and they should change all of the time but they can be used as tools to uphold. Justice and balance and I think that that can be a useful way of thinking about it.
I think they are by definition kind of unanswerable questions right I would be a little if someone was like I've got a vision and this is it I'd be a bit like oh okay. It's really fascinating to hear your distinct perspective on this because unlike Eleanor whose dad as an IP lawyer and she knows a bit more about this unfortunately my main knowledge of IP is one of my best friends who is an IP lawyer, and unfortunately this one IP -related case in New Zealand which went viral because John Oliver covered it about an Eminem- esque soundtrack that was used in the New Zealand elections. But the joke is that it was being sued because they were like oh it sounds like Eminem. And then the title track was actually called Eminem-esque and so this became - as only things in New Zealand do - a very distinct tiny local scandal but things are really heating up right now with IP issues around ChatGPT. So could you briefly explain to the less knowledgeable audience like me what IP is and how it relates to generative AI tools like ChatGPT.
Sure. So the first thing is that IP means intellectual property, and that is an umbrella term. That means also lots of different things. So types of IP are like copyright patterns, designs, trademarks. All these other things. And actually we tend to be mostly talking about copyright in this context of AI.
Although patterns, so patterns protect inventions. So something like parts of your washing machine or your iPhone or whatever are patent protected. And there is a whole conversation about whether AI can be an inventor and therefore have a pattern and all that kind of stuff. So that's one conversation In the context of like the creative industries and the chatbots and, and that kind of stuff, we're, we are really talking about copyright.
So copyright is a type of intellectual property, right, that protects literary, artistic, dramatic, and musical works, as well as some other things like sound recordings and films. And basically that just means anything like books, films, music, theater literature, paintings, photographs. Creative stuff, and what it does is it gives the rights holder or the creator certain rights that allow them to be remunerated for their creativity and control the use of the thing that they have made so you can license it or not, and things like that.
It's a balancing act, as I said already. One of the core principles of copyright is to balance the different stakeholder interests and what that means is, We give them certain rights to the rights holders, but we also limit those rights in other ways so that we can also have access to works for certain things like criticism and review we mentioned already.
So a copyright exception is a way that you limit the kind of scope of rights for that kind of balancing act. So that's what we're talking about in terms of the legal context with AI. It kind of engages with copyright in a couple of ways. So first of all, all of the data that goes in with that is ingested in the AI for the purpose of training the AI, could be copyright protected data. So in the examples we've seen in the news recently of like the song that's in the style of Drake and the Weeknd, the AI obviously ingested the music catalogs of the Weeknd and Drake, which are both copyright protected. So the use of that data- which is obviously blasphemy to say that music is data, but for the purpose of AI, you would call it, for data in the music industry, we would absolutely not call it that, we would call it a music catalog- whether that needs to be protected whether that needs to be sorry licensed or not is one of the big questions that we're kind of looking at. And then on the other side, the AI output, we can, the other kind of issues that we are exploring in copyright is basically two things. Is that AI output, copyright protectable in and of itself. Like has the AI created a work or not? And secondly, is that work an infringement of somebody else's copyright work that's maybe been ingested as part of the process of that AI generated works. So those are some of the kind of key legal questions around AI technology.
With the chat AI, there's also like a whole other layer of, like, for instance, as an academic, like we are worried about how this is impacting our students and like assignments and plagiarism. I mean, we are seeing, I genuinely have seen assignments submitted by students, which I am sure were written by a chatbot because they're just absolutely nonsensical.
And it really frustrates me because I just want to like have a word with the student and be like, did you even read this? Like, could at least have edited it so it has some logic to it, but also that I'm just like throwing away your degree because maybe it was like an experiment to see if they thought they could get away with it. I don't know. But there are also those kind of like ethical concerns in that context as well.
Maybe we should be moving to oral exams like in Italy.
Yeah, I think that's what universities will do, or at least combinations of which we do anyway. Like with, for instance, at Brunel, when you write your dissertation, you also do a presentation. And because we've faced problems like this before, for instance, students can like buy an essay and doing the presentation enables us to like ensure that they can talk about for 15 minutes their topic and things like that. But yeah, I definitely think there will be more... well, doing an exam is different. Like if you are in an exam setting in a room in real life, then obviously you can't cheat with AI. But things like dissertation and assignment writing is probably gonna change.
And when you're studying law, I mean it might be in other subjects, that's not even a bad thing because why do we need to do all this essay writing anyway? I think in law essay writing skills are really important for being a good lawyer, so, and research skills that go along with that. So that would actually be a real shame to have to kind of get rid of that completely.
Anyway, sorry, we've got a bit off topic...
Who doesn't wanna hear about what universities are gonna do about ChatGPT!
The other thing related to what you were just talking about the question of whether an AI- generated song is an original. Is it its own piece of art in its own right or is it unoriginal And apparently the law needs to know that in order to be able to assess whether it's copyright infringement? Can you explain a bit about that.
So the, say the AI output, there's the two questions of like, is it protectable by copyright? Like can it be a copyright protected work? And then could it be an infringement? Those are like the two key questions. So the first question: When you something is copyright protected or not, it has to fall within the categories of things that copyright protects, so if it's like literature or song or whatever, and if it's one of those things, is it original? So the requirement for originality in copyright is not necessarily how we would think of the word originality in everyday language. It doesn't have to be like brand spanking new every time, right? Because obviously lots of songs use the same common chord combinations as advocated for by Ed Sheeran a lot recently.
So originality doesn't mean completely brand new. It means have you made your own creative choices? Have you taken the building blocks of the thing that you always use in that particular context? So if it's a song, it might be the, the chord structure or a basic structure of a typical pop song or something like that.
But then have you added your personal touch? In the, the language of the law we say things like skill, labor and effort, own intellectual creation, and all these terms that like don't actually mean a lot on their own but it is a lot to do with an extension of your personality, how you view the world, and putting your own personal touch, which relates to your personality.
So in my view, AI can generate a song. However, it only uses the data set that it's been ingested, and it doesn't add anything new. It also doesn't have a personality, doesn't have a view on the world. One of the protest signs that I saw the process in America, the script writers and the writers it says chatGPT doesn't have childhood trauma and it's funny, but it's so on the me on the point because when we create stuff as humans, it's a manifestation of like everything that we've been through and emotions and you know, not just the skills that we have. It's not just that you can play the piano and then you write a song based off the fact that you've heard other songs before.
It's also that you are writing about your own personal experience and creativity, in my mind anyway, is a very human experience, and I don't think that AI can do that. So not everyone would agree with me. Some people would say that it... it really depends on how you think about what creativity is. If you think that all humans do when they create something is regurgitate all the other books that they've ever read or all the other films that they've ever seen, then AI can do that. If you think that creativity is about adding your own personal touch, your own personality, your own life experience, your own kind of view of the world, on top of your skill and effort and all of the inspiration that you draw from other works, then I don't think AI can do that and therefore doesn't reach the threshold and therefore doesn't create copyright protectable things. So that's the first question. The second question about infringement, so this is actually sort of flipped on its head. The normal test for infringement is, did you take a substantial part of the other song? For instance, if you're talking about songs and substantial relates to the original parts because you know, I've just said about like, you draw inspiration from, that's fine, you take the building blocks of the, of the kind of works that you are working within. Those things are what we call the unoriginal elements. That a commonplace in that particular context. And the test for infringement, you have to show that what's been copied is the original parts. So the challenge, if you were a rights holder and you wanted to sue an AI generator who's, for instance, made a song that's in the style of your music, the problem is that it would be difficult to point to a specific song where they've taken the original parts. Because, say, going back to the example of Drake and the Weeknd, what it did is it created a song in the general style of. And general style of is not something that's pr copyright protected. Your voice is not something that's copyright protected. And so that would be very difficult to show, not necessarily impossible. And also just to say that with the Weeknd and the Drake song there are other IP rights at play as well because those are, those are trademarks, the names of the people.
And so even to say that this song is Drake at the Weeknd engages other types of rights as well. And maybe there would be, we have this single passing off in the UK like and in America they have something similar like likeness and personality rights. So there are other rights that are engaged as well.
But just from a copyright perspective, the, the originality criteria, maybe the kind of biggest hurdle when it comes to whether or not the output is infringing a, a previous work or not.
My gosh it's so interesting. don't wanna ask you to sing if you don't want to but what's there's something that's a substantially original part of a track I mean any track, can you or just tell us that we might all know If you don't wanna sing I can have my go at singing, no Kerry - Kerry's a really good singer!
So I'm not gonna sing anything, but I will, so I have this playlist. I have a whole playlist of songs. It's called Copyright in the Music Industry. It's on Apple and Spotify. I made it after I wrote my book because when I was writing the book about all of these different songs that were, they weren't all infringement cases, but they were some, some kind of legal dispute.
I was like listening to the music as I was writing the book and having the best time, and I just thought, I want people to listen to this. So it started out as a kind of like, Glossary of the book, I suppose, but I've just kept adding to it. So every time there's an infringement case, or every time there's some kind of legal dispute around a song, I add it to the playlist.
And in there are tons of examples of songs where they, they didn't all win or lose though. You might have to Google which ones, but I'll give you a couple of examples that you can listen to and then you can decide. So one quite famous case was George Harrison from The Beatles was sued for copying a song by the Chiffons.
His song is called, Well, I'm gonna make sure I don't get them mixed up. One of the songs is called My Sweet Lord, that's George Harrison's, and He's So Fine is the Chiffons. And that was found to be copyright infringement because the judge said they were so substantially similar and when you listen to them, it's not just one element.
There's many. The song has almost an identical melody throughout, although the lyrics are different and the speed, one song is slower than the other. But you can literally sing the l the lyrics from one song over the top of the other one, and they're very similar. However, it was still a controversial case because George said, I created this song independently, even though I had heard of the other song before.
And the judge said that he did it subconsciously, so he didn't even know that he had done it.
Well, it's just bizarre, right? How does the judge know? George is like, I didn't know that I was doing that. How could the judge possibly see into his brain and, and determine that he'd done it subconsciously.
But basically it is more due to the fact that the songs are so similar that you can infer that he had done it subconsciously rather than Necessarily it being about the fact that he didn't know he was doing it. Because what the first part of the copyright infringement test is also that you have to have heard the previous song before because copyright is the right to copy and you can't copy something you've never heard before.
And so an example of something that wasn't infringement was the UK Ed Sheeran case where he was sued by a guy called Sami Chokri. And it was to do with this specific part of the song where Ed's song is like the oh why oh why oh why and the Sami Chokri song had in it, oh why oh why oh why. And so they're very similar, those parts, but he couldn't prove that Ed had actually ever heard his song before.
And so he lost that case. But the judge said even if he did overcome that hurdle of access, the parts that are similar in those two songs are general parts. So those, those little snippets are considered commonplace elements and therefore wouldn't be the same. Same with there's this American case where Katy Perry was sued for, you know, had the song Dark Horse.
It's got that really distinctive scale in, I'm not gonna sing it, but that's also on the playlist. You can listen. And at first actually it was found to be infringement and then there was an appeal. And on appeal she did win. And they said that a scale is a commonplace element and therefore not a substantial taking, even though the scales are, I dunno if, I can't remember off the top of my head if they were identical or nearly identical. But the whole point was that at something like a scale is not something that should be protected by copyright. And therefore, even if it was distinctive, it wasn't found to be infringement.
So there you go. Those are just some off the top of my head, but the, the playlist is like hours and hours long. It's not a great listen because one minute it's like Mariah Carey singing All I Want for Christmas, and the next minute you get George Harrison. So it's not necessarily something I'd put on while you're having dinner, but it's fun to explore the different cases.
I mean I think that's so great And yes please to all our listeners check out not only Hayleigh's podcast but also her cool playlist. I wish Eleanor and I could have an AI ethics playlist.
Yeah, or you put the AI generated songs on there and they all get taken down anyway.
Exactly. A sort of meta commentary. But on that note, something we were interested in is, I guess kind of what the advent of technologies like ChatGPT maybe mean for things like the music industry. And so, yeah. How do you think that IP or like copyright law should be wielded in a way that protects the music industry rather than sort of, you know, letting these tools undermine that?
So I think the first thing to kind of point out is that copyright always evolves with new technology. So this isn't the first time that any kind of creative industries has been like, oh no, a new thing. And it's not even that with AI, it's not that necessarily, it's a bad thing like, I don't think that the creative industries are like, oh no, this is terrible let's like batter down the hatches. Because in many ways, especially in the music industry, artists and, and songwriters and composers have been using AI tools to assist in their creation for a really long time. This is not actually that new. But AI generating technology is kind of something different which can displace creative workers.
And that's why we're seeing the protests in America because they're worried about the fact that this idea that why would we hire a scriptwriter when we could just get this chatbot to write the episode for us? And I think that's somewhere that the law can come in and help rebalance those kind of different interests because the creative industries is something that offers so much to us at as a society, not only from the economic perspective. I mean it, it massively contributes from an economic perspective, but also all of the kind of Joy that the creative arts brings us, as well as the healing.
There's so much amazing scientific research about the incredible kind of healing powers of music and how it helps students who are in education and all this kind of stuff like creative arts and the creative industries does so much for society that I think it's something that we want to ensure that we don't just completely bulldoze because someone's created this technology that can do something similar but not the same.
And for me, it comes back to that, like that exact question of like, why do we want AI technology to generate music or, or to write scripts for us, or whatever it is. I think that we've gotta really think about what we want to uphold and value in life, and what kind of world we want to live in. Because it doesn't have to be all doom and gloom.
It's just about not letting the technology run away with itself, displace all these workers, exaggerate discriminations and, and issues that we already have as humans, whereas it could be steered into a really good direction where we could support the use of AI as a tool for assisting creativity without undermining the importance of human creation.
And I think copyright in particular is a really good way of doing that because of the balancing act that it does in general. But I think in order for that to happen we have to move quite quickly in from a legislative perspective, which is a challenge because law does evolve slowly and AI technology is obviously going at the speed of light. So that's a challenge, but I do think that there are ways that we can utilize copyright regulation as a way to kind of balance those interests and steer the use of that technology in a healthy direction.
That's really fascinating and I love the way that you frame it in terms of actually what does the creative process give us, as well as the sorts of beautiful kinds of outputs that we get. My husband comes from a slam poetry background, but also from an arts education background, so it's all about using poetry to teach and kind of think about how the arts can be really transformative. And ironically, something I always say about him is he is an artist who hates art because, you know, he does not wanna be spending his spare time reading books or going to like art museums or thinking about the arts, but he sees this kind of transformative quality in the arts as being kind of one of the most important things that they can give us.
And so, you're right, like it's quite sad to think of the fact that, you know, if we allow this kind of arts work to be outsourced. You know, do we kind of lose all that transformative power?
And also the kind of content that AI- generated works will be is only a regurgitation of the data that's input into it, and I think this is a really important point that and creativity is all about breaking patterns and going somewhere new and exploring the human experience. AI- generated works do not do that.
All it does is recognize a pattern in a data set and then reproduce something that follows that pattern, and so, fine. It might make sort of background spa music. I don't know it, it can do that, but it is that what we want from music, you know what I mean? And we have, this is a choice. We can decide that we're gonna uphold human creativity, that we're gonna value what humans bring to the world in that sector, or we can let AI do it and sort of basically, ruin the, the creative arts and industries and it would be so, honestly, such a waste of such an amazing kind of like transformative, like you said is a really good word, I think for describing some of the benefits, not only for the creatives themselves, but also for us, like receiving all this incredible kind of culture and creativity.
And I just don't see a world in which allowing AI to displace that is going to give us a rich and evolving culture in society. I actually think you'd see the opposite, where it would become narrower and smaller and less insightful and you know, less progressive because it is just taking a data set and then reproducing it and it's just like not not the, not the point in creativity, in my view.
Yeah totally agree and I think people can get really caught up in how the technology itself is really exciting. I think that it's it's amazing that this is possible and the engineering, the teamwork all that that goes into it is is a really incredible achievement. But you know as an ex- literature student and a lover of art I think it's such nonsense, the pictures suck.
Exactly, but, and I think it goes back to what I said earlier about like thinking about the why, like why do we want somebody to use the chatbot to write these pointless blog posts that just, in my view, litter the internet. It's just- we're already in a saturated market when it comes to the internet.
There's already more music than we could ever listen to. There's more blog posts and books and anything that you could ever possibly read. So all it's doing is contributing to an overproduction of. Works anyway when it could be used to problem- solve, to manage data, and AI is doing incredible stuff in other areas like medicine and transport and you know, all of this stuff where it's like we have a problem and AI can help us solve it or be more accurate than a human can be because AI doesn't get tired and stuff like that.
I think that stuff's incredible and we should definitely encourage that. It's only in my view when we're talking about this kind of stuff that I'm like, what's the point? Like, yeah, it's very impressive AI can make a song. Like I saw recently they used AI to get the voice of Kurt Cobain to sing a song by Hole and I'm like, first of all, it's horrible. Second of all, why? Like, why are you doing this? I don't see the value. But there is value in AI technology in general for sure to be able to do things that humans can't do. So let's focus the energy there. Humans already make exceptionally beautiful, magical, incredible music, art literature.
Those kind of things. We don't need AI for that. We've done that. We've got that. We are good. Do you know what I mean? Or like AI can be a tool to assist in that exploration, but it doesn't need to replace it. Whereas there are things that AI can do that does make the world a better place, essentially.
And I think we should direct it there rather than, like you said, just being like, oh yeah, it's cool. It can do that. It's like, yeah, and?
Well Hayleigh thank you so much for giving us much food, for thought. We just really appreciate it and I'm sure you'll also be the face of IP law in the future. So someone to watch out for. Thanks for and joining us today.
Well, thanks so much for having me and I really hope that listeners do go and check out because this is a really exciting policy area. Like the government are looking into this right now about what they should do and you actually can get involved in this.
This is not something that's just happening over there. You can put your views forward and they will take that into consideration at national and international levels. So this is also wherever in the world you're listening to this, this is happening now.
This episode was made possible thanks to the generosity of Christina Gaw and the Mercator Foundation. It was produced by Eleanor Drage and Kerry McInerney, and edited by Eleanor Drage.