The European Commission is making significant inroads in advancing its proposal to regulate the use and development of artificial intelligence (AI) in its jurisdiction. One of the highlights of the proposed regulation is limits on the use of high-risk AI in health initiatives and those which affect individuals’ fundamental rights and freedoms. AI’s use in the creative industries is already observable. These include the music, animation and film, design, copyediting, and writing sectors. Whether creative practitioners are wary of advances in AI and how it impacts their output or have embraced its capabilities, the relationship between traditional creative industries and AI is forecasted to be under closer scrutiny in 2024. Based on ongoing debates and developments in the space, opportunities and challenges will notably include how to treat copyrighted works used in AI software and what role international and non-multi-lateral frameworks.
Advances in the use, types, and capabilities of frontier technologies are continuous and increasingly substantial. Intellectual property is a territorial right. Even with international intellectual property treaties, rights hardly operate outside its registration zone. We cannot deny, however, that innovations, including proprietary content, are being produced through space explorations. The International Space Station (ISS) Treaty governs outer space innovation and exploration and is the only outer space treaty that includes a specific provision about intellectual property. As per the ISS Treaty, ownership of intellectual property from outer space activities belongs to the treaty partner to whom the space station flight element is registered. Each partner to the treaty (Canada, the United States, the UK, the European Space Agency, Russia, Japan and China) is responsible for providing specific space station elements.
Activities that generate intellectual property in a space station element belonging to a partner country, are deemed to have originated in that partner’s country. Therefore, safeguarding intellectual property is still crucial even in outer space and will continue to be necessary as more countries explore and seek to make their mark in outer space. Issues that are likely to be significant in 2024 and beyond include: how best to prevent infringements of existing rights, the role of procedural intellectual property mechanisms to register rights in multiple countries (and therefore address infringements) and what the increases in developing countries’ participation in satellite manufacturing, installation and testing facilities mean for development in their home economies.
The intellectual property and development divide debate therefore, is still relevant.
There is more to the blockchain than crypto and digital currencies. Consumers are interested in knowing where their food comes from and under what conditions it is produced and distributed before it reaches their table. Services that can reduce information asymmetry in consumer markets tend to be highly valued. The traceability and authentication features of the blockchain are being used by several food manufacturers and agricultural entities globally to bring transparency to food’s supply chain. The affordability of the technology, interoperability issues, and the cost and availability of related services are crucial to integrating blockchain into supply chain food systems. These discussions will likely remain relevant in policy talks about building sustainable food systems, in emerging and developed economies.