AI experts in Japan concerned about bots trained on copyrighted material.

Japanese experts in artificial intelligence and researchers are advising against the use of illegally obtained information to train AI. They believe that doing so could result in numerous copyright infringement cases, job loss, the spreading of false information, and the leaking of confidential information.

On May 26th, a draft from the government’s AI strategy council was submitted, expressing concerns about the lack of regulation surrounding AI and the risks it poses to copyright infringement.

Japanese lawmaker, Takashi Kii, has stated that there are currently no laws that prohibit artificial intelligence from using copyrighted material and illegally acquired information for training purposes.

“First of all, when I checked the legal system (copyright law) in Japan regarding information analysis by AI, I found that in Japan, whether it is for nonprofit purposes, for-profit purposes, or for acts other than duplication, it is obtained from illegal sites,” said Takashi.

“Minister Nagaoka clearly stated that it is possible to use the work for information analysis regardless of the method, regardless of the content,” added Takashi, referring to Keiko Nagaoka, the minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology.

Takashi also went on to ask about the guidelines for the use of AI chatbots such as ChatGPT in schools, which also poses its own set of dilemmas, given that the tech is reportedly set to be adopted by the education system as soon as March 2024.

“Minister Nagaoka answered ‘as soon as possible;’ there was no specific answer regarding the timing,” he said.

Andrew Petale, a lawyer and trademarks attorney at Melbourne-based Y Intellectual Property, says the issue still falls into a “gray area.” He explained that it poses many hypothetical questions that first need to be addressed by legal proceedings and regulation. Petale added that AI companies generally argue that their models do not infringe on copyright as their AI-bots transform original work into something new, which qualifies as fair use under U.S. laws, where most of the action is kicking off.

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The use of AI to train models with copyrighted material poses many ethical questions. Until the legislation recognizes machines or robots as capable of authorship, it remains a gray area in the legal world.

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