United States District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell ruled last week that artworks created by artificial intelligence cannot be copyrighted. The decision was made in a case between the US Copyright Office and Stephen Thaler, where the office refused to copyright Thaler’s AI-generated image.

Thaler had tried several times to register the copyright of the image, but the office rejected all applications. After the agency’s final rejection last year, Thaler sued the agency. In his decision, Judge Howell wrote that copyright has never been granted to works not directed by human hands, and added that human authorship is a basic requirement of copyright.

However, Judge Howell acknowledged that humanity is approaching new frontiers in copyright where artists use artificial intelligence to create new works. He wrote that this raises “questions about how much human input is needed” for copyrighted AI-generated art, noting that AI models are often trained on pre-existing works.

Stephen Thaler plans to appeal the case.

Source: The Verge