AI licensing

What is it

Generative AI has emerged as a dominant new technology, powering products and services and attracting sizeable investments. The large language models (LLMs) underpinning these systems are developed using vast amounts of existing content, including copyright works which are being used without consent, credit or compensation.

Rich and diverse human creativity is invaluable socially, culturally and also economically given the huge financial and soft power dividends generated by the UK’s creative industries. It is essential that UK and international policy creates a mediated balance between supporting human creativity and enabling useful technologies to develop. A recent report by the Culture, Media & Sport Committee identified the need to address the current imbalance:

The Government must ensure that creators have proper mechanisms to enforce their consent and receive fair compensation for use of their work by AI developers.

ALCS has published a set of AI principles, and we urge the Government to apply these in the development of future policy and regulation. A recent survey by the Society of Authors found that 95% of respondents agreed on the need for compensation for the use of their works in training AI systems. Given the centrality of words to the development and value of LLMs, it is essential that writers’ representative bodies have a central role in developing fair models for compensation and authorisation. These bodies must also be part of any Government discussions around regulation designed to facilitate such models.