Thaler probably won't get the acceptance of the Creativity Machine's "humanity" from the Copyright Office. Radically changing our conception of what it means to be human is not a task that should fall to the Register of Copyrights. Thaler and other generative artists deserve the recognition and control that comes with being able to register as the authors of their works themselves. We should consider extending protection to the products of these methods as more and more artists use them to make their work.
Many artists in the generative art movement don't care if their work is eligible for copyright protection It's still yet. The founder of the NFT platform Art Blocks says that a lot of the people in the space are from a programming or coding background. When someone takes advantage of your work and you feel a little bit violated, it would have been nice for them to have asked you to protect it.
Unscrupulous use of an artist's work for commercial purposes is unfair. He sees unauthorized appropriation as both an economic and political problem. That wasn't the artistic intent of the Squiggles. To prevent his work from being used for hate speech, it is important for him. Without copyright, artists would have limited recourse when they saw their work being used to adorn the flag of an organization they found morally repugnant, or when they heard their music being used as the campaign rally soundtrack for a candidate they hated. These protections should be available torative artists as well. Their work may be computer-generated, but it's not all generic and can be easily associated with the artist.
There are other reasons to give generative artists the right to use copyrighted works. We make art for a lot of different reasons. Money is the imperfect language the law uses to shape and communicate values so it makes sense to allow artists to make money from their work. We want to live in a society that values the arts. The kind of art that challenges our understanding of what it means to be human is exactly the kind of art that our system should be endorsing.
There are precedents that could be used here. The Copyright Office allows directors and their studios to register their films. Even though a film assembles the work of many different contributors, including machines and animals, we are comfortable assigning copyright to the "master mind" behind the film. There are huge differences between film directors and generative coders, but our model of assigning copyright to the former could provide a useful template for valuing what they do.
It's possible that extending copyright protection to generative art will make it too easy to create a copyrighted work. A copyright troll with the right coding skills could create a thousand images in a matter of seconds. Our wariness of bad actors exploiting the system should not stop us from trying to design a copyright regime that lives up to its mandate.
Thaler's perspective may seem extreme, but philosophers, environmentalists, and artists are embracing a post human perspective to understand and navigate the crises of our time. The law should help facilitate these lines of inquiry.