The increasing sophistication and proliferation of artificial intelligence has given rise to a provoking question in copyright law: Who is the copyright owner of a work created by autonomous artificial intelligence? In other words, when a machine learns, thinks, and acts without human input, and it creates a work, what person should own the copyright, if any? This Note explains why this is a pressing question and why current laws and practices fail to address the issue. It then analyzes the arguments for and against the possible choices: the artificial intelligence, the user, the programmer, the company that owns the artificial intelligence, and entrance into the public domain. Finally, this Note arrives at the conclusion that the work’s immediate entrance into the public domain is the solution.
Editor’s Note: This Note won the Gertrude Brick Prize for the best Note in Spring 2018.