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  • Writer's pictureMatt Melancon

What Is Technellectual (Tek-nuh-lek-choo-uhl) and Why Should You Care?

The term “Technellectual” (pronounced tek-nuh-lek-choo-uhl) was born of a concept to describe AI-generated content that could be considered intellectual property if not for the absence of a human in the creation of such content. In other words, if a human creates some content, then such content could be legally protected by current intellectual property laws and doctrines, whereas if AI creates the same content without any human contribution, then in the eyes of the law, it cannot be legally protected by current intellectual property rights. Thus, it is something new and different: Technology + Intellectual Property = Technellectual Property (or Technellectual for short).

For more on AI-involved works and IP, see my previous article, AI-Generated Content & IP Rights: Humans Required?

Taking a step back from this, however, as the legal system (which provides for these intellectual property rights), tries to evolve and adapt to modern technology and its creative/generative abilities, it should not be lost on us that we are not mere bystanders waiting for the train to come off the rails. We hold the power to guide and direct this train. By waiting for the necessary legal wheels to act and then reacting, start turning as painfully slow as that might be or even appear, however, misses an opportunity to assist and guide those legal professionals (e.g., legislators, judges) who are facing these issues now and who will continue to face them at an ever likely accelerating pace. Even if proposed solutions here are not integrated, the mere documentation of the problems (both actual and foreseeable) can serve as a useful resource to our future law makers in order to carefully craft new legislation and interpret this legislation.

As we recognize today, old laws do not always play well with new technologies. That being said, it would be foolish to pretend our laws of the future will not face the same problem of facing ever newer and ever more difficult to predict technologies. With this expansive, but relatively specific, problem identified, it is my goal with this blog to implement the following 5-step approach in order to assist and guide–or at the very least document–significant, modern problems related to or deriving from the use of and/or absence of technology.

Like technology’s continuous evolution, so too does the concept of Technellectual. That is why it is more than just a concept–it’s also an approach that can help humanity flourish in our modern, tech-driven world by:

  1. Carefully examining significant, modern problems related to or deriving from the use of and/or absence of technology;

  2. Imagining and creating responses (whether using or removing the use of technology) to solve such significant, modern problems;

  3. Analyzing such creative responses through a filter of realistic and practical implementation including contextualizing conditions that may foster or impede success and assessing second and third order effects;

  4. Materializing a tactical, step-by-step plan for a successful end-goal including post-implementation monitoring; and

  5. Seeking opinions and feedback from other experts, contributors, and legal professionals including my audience.

So if you’re in the business of tech, stay up to date on the conversation and development, or if you’re in the legal business advising clients then you have even more of an obligation to stay current on this conversation for your clients.

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