Artificial intelligence (AI) technology that would have machines thinking and feeling as humans do is not quite here yet, but it is rapidly advancing. Generative AI programmers can now feed a computer thousands of examples — from the letter A to the human face to works of art and literature — and ask it to detect patterns that it then uses to make a statistical guess to produce something similar. This trial and error, known as machine learning, enables computers to become increasingly accurate and, in the process, craft material increasingly indistinguishable from what a human being might make — and much faster. Can written and visual work that a computer generates — hence the term “generative AI” — receive copyright protection? Or, because it ...

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