Vol. 13 No. 2 (2022)

Artificial Intelligence Systems and problems of the concept of author. Reflections on a recent book

Maurizio Lana
University of Piemont Orientale

Published 2022-05-05


  • Artificial Intelligence,
  • Texts,
  • Books,
  • Agency,
  • Authorship

How to Cite

Lana, Maurizio. 2022. “Artificial Intelligence Systems and Problems of the Concept of Author. Reflections on a Recent Book”. JLIS.It 13 (2):13-44. https://doi.org/10.36253/jlis.it-458.


The publication of the book Beta Writer. 2019. Lithium-Ion Batteries. A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research. New York, NY: Springer, produced with Artificial Intelligence software prompts analysis and reflections in several areas. First of all, on what Artificial Intelligence systems are able to do in the production of informative texts. This raises the question if and how an Artificial Intelligence software system can be treated as the author of a text it has produced. Evaluating whether this is correct and possible leads to re-examine the current conception for which it is taken for granted that the author is a person. This, in turn, when faced with texts produced by Artificial Intelligence systems necessarily raises the question of whether they, like the author-person, are endowed with agency. The article concludes that Artificial Intelligence systems are characterized by a distributed agency, shared with those who designed them and make them work, and that in the wake of the reflections of 50 years ago by Barthes and Foucault, it is necessary to define and recognize a new type of author.


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