A Guest Article by Giancarlo Frosio, Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Center for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) at the University of Strasbourg.

The regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI)’s activities is set to become a primary policy issue. Virtual agents, sapient algorithms, robots, will have a terrific impact on the European Digital Single Market (DSM). Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots have been the subject of science fiction for some time. That fictional future is now a present reality. The AI market is predicted to grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020. Investment in AI increased more than 300 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. Intelligent machines, machine learning algorithms, sapient bots and neural networks have invaded our daily life. The digital society will be increasingly characterized by the interaction of human actors and non-human technological actants or virtual agents within the so called "infosphere". In this context, there is a need for a policy framework that can promote a balanced coexistence of actors and actants in the DSM, so that EU citizens may reap the benefits of disruptive technologies and innovation rather than being overpowered by them. In particular, the so-called Forth Revolution is also a revolution where machines come as innovators and creators. At least five themes are relevant for legal practice and research in this domain: IP protection for AI technology, regulation of information and data used as inputs for AI, ownership and protectability of AI’s output, Digital Right Management (DRM) and IP enforcement through AI.

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