Exploration of the creative processes in animals, robots, and AI: who holds the authorship?

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 11 (1) (2024)
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Abstract

Picture a simple scenario: a worm, in its modest way, traces a trail of paint as it moves across a sheet of paper. Now shift your imagination to a more complex scene, where a chimpanzee paints on another sheet of paper. A simple question arises: Do you perceive an identical creative process in these two animals? Can both of these animals be designated as authors of their creation? If only one, which one? This paper delves into the complexities of authorship, consciousness, and agency, unpacking the nuanced distinctions between such scenarios and exploring the underlying principles that define creative authorship across different forms of life. It becomes evident that attributing authorship to an animal hinges on its intention to create, an aspect intertwined with its agency and awareness of the creative act. These concepts are far from straightforward, as they traverse the complex landscapes of animal ethics and law. But our exploration does not stop there. Now imagine a robot, endowed with artificial intelligence, producing music. This prompts us to question how we should evaluate and perceive such creations. Is the creative process of a machine fundamentally different from that of an animal or a human? As we venture further into this realm of human-made intelligence, we confront an array of ethical, philosophical, and legal quandaries. This paper provides a platform for a reflective discussion: ethologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, and bioinformaticians converge in a multidisciplinary dialogue. Their insights provide valuable perspectives for establishing a foundation upon which to discuss the intricate concepts of authorship and appropriation concerning artistic works generated by non-human entities.

Author's Profile

Jessica Lombard
Catholic University of Lille, France

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