Addressing legal issues with the latest technological developments and social media trends.
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GettyImages-1364050120-300x200Though ChatGPT and the far-reaching consequences of AI-powered chatbots are seizing both imaginations and headlines, many industries have been capitalizing on the use of chatbots for decades. Amid cybersecurity questions and legal discourse, chatbots have gained a stronghold in key business sectors looking to maximize manpower and provide speedy customer service. Their use is common across a large range of industries spanning education and government, to manufacturing and recruitment, and everything in between. Ahead, we look at some of the industries that are leading the way in their use of chatbots.

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NewsofNoteMain-300x250In today’s News of Note, we look at a potential boon for Sweden in the race for rare earth metals. We also ponder whether copyrights are solely for humans, or whether AI deserves equal protection for its artistic endeavors, plus the many unexpected applications (and pitfalls) surfacing as AI generators take the world by storm, and much more.

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You have probably heard of Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) created by Yuga Labs. These NFTs are owned by A-list celebrities and exploded in popularity in 2021. Currently, Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs can sell for millions of dollars and are arguably one of the most popular and successful NFT collections in existence. As of January 4, 2022, it is estimated that sales of BAYC NFTs have surpassed one billion dollars. Ryder Ripps, a self-proclaimed “conceptual artist,” created his own NFT collection called the Ryder Ripps Bored Ape Yacht Club (RR/BAYC) in May 2022 using the same online digital images as the BAYC NFT collection, by generating new NFTs using the URLs embedded in the Bored Ape Yacht Club smart contracts. In July 2022, Yuga Labs, Inc. filed a lawsuit in California claiming Ryder Ripps et al. has misused trademarks owned and used by Yuga Labs since April 2021 (the BAYC Marks).

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NewsofNote-300x250In today’s News of Note, we examine how quantum computers are aiding scientific research and forcing governments to upgrade their cybersecurity defense programs, new AI tools and the continued debate on the ethics of their use, the latest cryptocurrency scams, and much more.

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Logos-USPTO-Copyright-300x169Yesterday, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a joint study on IP issues related to NFTs. This follows a Congressional request by senators Leahy and Tillis that the Offices explore these issues. Today, the Offices will publish a Notice of Inquiry (unpublished version can be found here), with a notice-and-comment period to follow, seeking stakeholder/private industry feedback on the following topics:

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In today’s News of Note, anxieties continue to grow over AI-generated art, effective cybersecurity for the high-tech era, and the impact of facial recognition and gunshot detection technology on human rights.

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An administrative law judge in the New York State Division of Tax Appeals rejected the state’s position that a taxpayer providing a web-based service which allowed clients to identify effective and ineffective messaging through information, analysis and reports was selling taxable software. Following the rationale applied in a series of recent sales tax cases, including Matter of 1Life Healthcare, Inc., DTA No. 829434 and Matter of Breakdown Services, Ltd., DTA No. 829396, the judge concluded in her September 29, 2022, determination that the taxpayer’s service was nontaxable because its primary function was an information service that was personal or individual in nature.

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In today’s News of Note, AI’s increased presence in traditional human roles stirs debate over the future of artists and actors, CISA advises organizations to develop cybersecurity plans for quantum computers, Atari moves into The Sandbox metaverse, and more.

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GettyImages-1148300478-300x195Ethereum, the second largest blockchain-based platform by market cap, is tentatively scheduled to convert its consensus mechanism from proof-of-work (PoW), which incentivizes miners to solve mathematical puzzles to update the blockchain, to proof-of-stake (PoS), which makes decisions about updates through a vote among holders that have “staked” cryptocurrency that is “at risk” due to bad behavior, on September 15. This software update (the “Merge”) will be a complete overhaul of the system that has been running for the past seven years. For nearly two years, a separate PoS blockchain, called the Beacon chain, has been operating parallel to the original Ethereum blockchain to allow software developers to test and enhance it. The Merge will join both together. PoS will require 99.9% less energy to maintain than PoW and, if successful, the Merge will permit more significant improvements to Ethereum in the future. This would be welcome news for the crypto industry, which has had a very difficult year so far.

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GettyImages-901599596-e1660252913509-300x269Though we recently touched on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruling that only natural beings, which do not include artificial intelligence, can be an inventor under the U.S. Patents Act, the decision merits additional discussion.

Defining artificial intelligence (AI) can be a challenging task due to the expansiveness of its reach and evolving nature if its application. At its core, AI is the use of computer systems to perform tasks which historically have required human intelligence. Thus, AI can interpret and learn from data, creating alone, using what it has learned from this data, without additional human input. Such machine learning is further refined into deep learning, in which artificial neural networks—algorithms which copy how the human brain works—learn in a manner that mimics how humans do but by processing vast amounts of data. This neural networks approach of having computers “learn” as the human brain does differs from the more traditional rules-based computer programming, in which a computer is programmed with the explicit rules it will follow. Even as AI-powered computers begin to mimic human thinking, going beyond following predetermined tasks and routines, it’s not surprising that while AI is good at rules-based thinking, it cannot mimic certain functions of the human brain yet.

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