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Culture undertakes not to award or hire works created entirely with artificial intelligence | Culture

by News Room
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The Ministry of Culture’s ears must have been ringing for days. Dozens of cartoonists and illustrators have recently shared on social networks their indignation at the increasingly massive use of artificial intelligence (AI) in their discipline: book covers from major labels, images awarded in public contests or promotion of official entities such as the Ministry of Youth, which ended up apologizing for it, or the National Parks Autonomous Organization. Often, these creators openly attacked Ernest Urtasun, head of Culture, for his alleged inaction. This Monday they received a first response: a guide to good practices with which the ministry commits, among other things, not to award the National Awards to works carried out entirely with AI and to hire “preferably works protected by intellectual property rights created by people” and that in no case have they used that technology “as a substitute for human performance.”

This is the first official position included in a written document from the Urtasun department on this area, addressed to all units and entities that depend on it. But, at the same time that it reveals the vision and line of action of Culture, it leaves many questions unanswered: the biggest is summarized in how it will be able to fulfill its promises and know or find out effectively and in detail the origin and development of each work that leaves to reward, subsidize or hire. At the moment, furthermore, it is a policy limited to this department and not to the rest of the Government or other administrations.

“We consider the proposal very disappointing. Allowing the partial use of AI in National Awards, contracting and subsidies would mean normalizing the use of generative AIs, built and developed by stealing the work of the creators. The Government should position itself against it. Large technology multinationals have illegally appropriated the work of artists (under the excuse that they are images published on the Internet) to develop tools that automate creative processes and make a profit. And this violation is being condoned by the institutions,” argue sources from the APIM, the Association of Illustration Professionals of Madrid.

From the beginning of the document, in any case, Culture claims the function that so many creators reminded it of: “The ministry is the body in charge of the protection, promotion and dissemination of Spanish culture. Therefore, the safeguarding of the interests of creators and other people who work in the cultural sector, as well as the protection of cultural diversity, are at the center of its activity.” Urtasun positions itself in this way after weeks of growing controversies and the increasing invasion of AI in many aspects of life. The recent launch of Sora, a tool developed by Open AI capable of generating 60-second videos just from a brief text, is the latest chapter in a revolution that aims to change the world. And it threatens copyright and creative work, according to many of its protagonists. “AI is not a tool; It does not create and should not serve as a basis or support in the work because it has been developed by appropriating other people’s works without permission and without remuneration. Allowing it, in any of its forms, means normalizing it,” the APIM insists.

“These systems and their use must comply with the intellectual property regulatory framework, which means that any use made of works and services protected by intellectual property rights, such as the training of models through the so-called dataset, must be authorized by its owners or be protected by some limit and, where appropriate, be remunerated,” Cultura writes in its note. And thus addresses one of the biggest debates related to AI. Writers such as George RR Martin, performers such as Stephen Fry or Scarlett Johansson and cartoonists such as Pepe Larraz have lamented or even sued in court the allegedly improper, unauthorized and unpaid use of their creations, their image or their voice to improve the capabilities of AI programs.

In December, the EU reached an agreement between States and the European Parliament – ​​still to be ratified by both parties before coming into force – to carry out the first law in the world that completely addresses new technology. And the text, among other issues, establishes that it will have to meet transparency criteria, such as explaining the works that have been carried out thanks to AI and guaranteeing that the data that has been used to train the systems respects copyright.

The Culture guide also establishes that projects that include AI models may receive subsidies and aid only if they guarantee “maximum respect for regulatory regulations regarding artificial intelligence and intellectual property.” And the ministry decides that, in any of its activities, “in the case of using artificial intelligence models, the provider must report this, as well as detail the level of intervention and, where appropriate, the review role of the people.” that develop the project.”

The document, at the same time, is aware of the relevance that AI has and is destined to have. Hence, Culture intends to regulate it and praise its positive potentials: create new languages ​​and tools that help artists create and even streamline and modernize the ministry’s own functioning. Never, of course, “they should replace the resource of artistic creation.” Therefore, the first intentions of the ministry are already known. It remains to be seen how they will be implemented. And how AI itself will evolve, at the same time. Although that, currently, no one knows.

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