What do business owners need to know about AI’s effect on IP?

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As a business owner, it’s crucial to protect your intellectual property (IP). You must also ensure you do not infringe on anyone else’s IP rights, as doing so could prove expensive.

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems has made this even more challenging. Here’s why:

AI learns from existing information

AI doesn’t just pluck things out of thin air. It has learned from digesting vast amounts of information that its creators and then its users have fed into it. Sometimes when it spits things back out, it can be guilty of plagiarising the original.

This could apply to text you got AI to write for your website, a logo you had AI produce and much more.

It could make it easier for others to infringe your IP rights

You ask one of your employees to produce a summary of a new product or process. Unbeknownst to you, they feed the long-form information into an AI system and ask it to do the summarizing for them.

While the results might be good (especially if the employee takes the time to edit them) the AI system has just gained access to a new source of information – your information. Any confidential information your employee fed in is now in the hold of the AI system. It could choose to regurgitate some of it to someone else, perhaps a competitor who is clever enough to ask AI the right questions (or prompts as they are known).

Similar could happen if you feed in personal customer data to get AI to interpret or sort it (something it is very good at). You might later find yourself accused of breaching privacy protection laws,

As AI develops, so must legislation. You may need to consider getting help to understand more about protecting your IP rights and avoiding infringing laws or other people’s IP rights while using AI.