The Japanese government plans to develop a legal framework to protect copyright on novels, music and other works created by artificial intelligence.

The government's intellectual property task force led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the decision during a meeting Monday as the group believes the existing copyright law does not cover creations produced by AI. The government envisions putting the new measures into practice in fiscal 2017 beginning April 2017 or later, officials said.

"We will support companies and universities working on creating innovation, to enable them to use intellectual property," Abe said at the meeting of the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters.

Legislative changes are thought necessary to protect AI-created works from unauthorized use, and to enable the developer of the AI system to be fairly compensated.

The quality of AI works has been improving. Earlier this year, a novel written by a Japanese AI program passed the first round of screening for a literature award named after science fiction writer Shinichi Hoshi.