Artificial Incompetence: How Generative AI Creates Latent Intellectual Property Issues

Previously Published in The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law, Volume 7, No. 3 | May-June 2024

In this article, the authors examine the extensive legal risks that companies take when using generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), particularly within operations that create intellectual property or other intangible value represented within a business.

While any groundbreaking technology can offer substantial societal benefits and drawbacks, recent advances in GenAI have raised particular concerns. Experts and pioneers in the AI field, including the “godfather of AI,” have warned that this technology poses a profound risk to humanity. They have even called for a six-month pause on developing new GenAI models. In the realm of intellectual property creation and protection, a longer hiatus might be even more prudent.

GenAI programs are algorithmic models that learn from vast amounts of data to generate new text, audio, video, simulations, or software code in response to human prompts. These models can produce content that often appears indistinguishable from human-generated work, creating college-level essays or stunning art in seconds. However, some generated content has proven to be incorrect or severely biased. Since GenAI models are limited by the data they access, any biases in the data can be amplified in their output. While GenAI can simplify repetitive and complex tasks, the lack of an established legal framework and the technology’s inconsistent nature mean companies must tread carefully. Missteps can lead to significant legal exposure, particularly regarding intellectual property (IP) and corporate transactions like mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

GenAI has the potential to be a valuable tool for businesses and the lawyers who advise them. However, its use in creating IP assets or legal documents carries substantial risks and could lead to costly litigation.

To read the full article, please click here.

Related Practice Areas:

Intellectual Property | Artificial Intelligence


K. Lance Anderson, Member, Austin
Benton B. Bodamer, Member, Columbus
Jordan E. Garsson, Associate, Austin
Andrew M. Robie, Summer Associate, Columbus