Creativity, Ownership and Public Value in the Age of AI.

December 7, 2023

On 7 December, Paul participated in the Shaping Europe’s digital model conference organized by the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament. The event brought 30 high-level digital experts into the European Parliament to discuss Europe’s digital model based on progressive values.

The conference covered a wide range of topics, many overlapping with our work. Panels dealt with labor rights in the context of algorithmic control, the funding and governing of public digital infrastructures, and the future of democracy in the face of big tech and the big state. Discussions about public digital Infrastructures and the need to build new public institutions that address the challenges and opportunities created by the digital transformation ran throughout the entire conference — inspired in part by a keynote delivered by Evegeny Morozov the evening before. The key takeaways include:

Creativity, Ownership and Public Value in the Age of AI

As part of the conference, we were asked to organize a panel on Creativity, Ownership and Public Value in the Age of AI. The panel — moderated by Paul Keller — brought together Paul Nemitz (European Commission), Mat Dryhurst (Spawning), Renata Avila (Open Knowledge), and Hanneke Holthuis (Pictoright) and focused on how to ensure that creators can thrive in the fact of generative AI and how they can assert control over their creations. You can watch a recording of the panel below.

At the end of the panel, three main conclusions provided a clear perspective on the challenges Europe faces in the light of the growing impact of generative AI systems — and the path forward for our work in this area:

  1. We need to invest in public compute and data infrastructure to create the conditions for the explosion of AI-enabled creativity outside the choking control of few big tech companies.
  2. We must invest in ways for creators to provide consent and creative control. The existing copyright framework is a clear mandate for Europe to lead in building such consent infrastructures.
  3. We need to find effective ways to channel back some of the value extracted from the digital commons to creators and others who contribute to building AI systems.
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