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A few years ago, researchers managed to create a new portrait in the style of Rembrandt using artificial intelligence (AI). Produced by a 3D printer, ‘The Next Rembrandt’ is made up of 148 million pixels, based on 168,263 painting fragments from Rembrandt's oeuvre. But what about intellectual property rights for these types of projects?

EU regulations

Can the current European intellectual property rules (copyright and patent rights) be applied to creations and inventions developed using artificial intelligence? On behalf of the European Commission, researchers Bernt Hugenholtz, Joao Pedro Quintais and Daniel Gervais of UvA’s Institute for Information Law (IViR), working in conjunction with the Joint Institute for Innovation Policy (JIIP), set out to explore this question. In their research, they investigated both new works such as ‘The Next Rembrandt’ and new inventions, such as new medications developed within a short period of time using machine learning.

Role of humans

The IViR report reveals that computer systems are not nearly advanced enough yet, at this stage, to produce creative works and inventions fully independently; humans will continue to play a central role in this process in the foreseeable future. Only minor amendments will therefore need to be made to European intellectual property laws. The researchers’ report has been published by the European Commission, and the conclusions are compiled in the IP Action Plan. You can read more about this topic on the IViR website