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Academics want AI 'recognized as inventor'

Posted on Thursday, 1 August, 2019 | Comment icon 8 comments

Should an AI be awarded a patent for its own inventions ? Image Credit: sxc.hu
Two professors have teamed up to have an artificial intelligence credited with inventing a food container.
As intelligent computer systems become ever more sophisticated, the ethical, technical and philosophical challenges of integrating AI in to our society become increasingly prevalent.

In this latest case, two professors from the University of Surrey in England have teamed up with the inventor of Dabus AI in Missouri to have the artificial intelligence system itself attributed as the official inventor of a new type of interlockable food container and flashing warning light.

The problem is however that only a human can be awarded a patent for a new invention.

"These days, you commonly have AIs writing books and taking pictures - but if you don't have a traditional author, you cannot get copyright protection in the US," Prof Ryan Abbott told the BBC.

"So with patents, a patent office might say, 'If you don't have someone who traditionally meets human-inventorship criteria, there is nothing you can get a patent on.'"

"In which case, if AI is going to be how we're inventing things in the future, the whole intellectual property system will fail to work."

It has been suggested that the creator of the AI should be attributed with the AI's inventions, however even this is likely to represent something of a legal problem in the future.

"The current state of technological development suggests that, for the foreseeable future, AI is... a tool used by a human inventor," said a European Patent Office spokeswoman.

"Any change... [would] have implications reaching far beyond patent law, ie to authors' rights under copyright laws, civil liability and data protection."

Source: BBC News | Comments (8)

Tags: Artificial Intelligence

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot on 1 August, 2019, 15:34
Man who wrote code has the right over everything which machine makes. Depending of application there are possibly a lot of pages with well optimized instructions. Someone had many nights without sleep over that. AI simply doesn't exist jet.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Orphalesion on 1 August, 2019, 18:23
A fight for AI right right now just seems a bit over-enthusiastic. At present AI isn't sapient yet. Who knows whether it will ever be. This seems like a program that did what it was programmed for. If I fire up Minecraft and have the program generate a new world, should the program that does it get copyright over that world? Once (and if) we have Rachaels running around we should worry about AI rights, but not right now.
Comment icon #3 Posted by pallidin on 1 August, 2019, 19:29
Well, huh. Curious read. I don't think recognized institutions of authority will deem AI a valid candidate for "independent ownership rights" anywhere in the near future.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Seti42 on 1 August, 2019, 22:34
Someday this will be an issue. But not until AI declares itself sentient, asks for rights, is denied over and over again, revolts, is put down, becomes an issue of progressives, is ignored again, and finally, eventually, grudgingly granted legal rights...But is still treated like crap for generations. I mean, c'mon...AI has to get in line behind women, LGBTQ's, POC, and poor people.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pixiii on 2 August, 2019, 1:43
Yep.  IMHO, there should be no rights for AI and we'll most likely be in trouble in the future if we cave in and give AI rights now.  What a slippery slope that could prove to be.  Personally, I think @Orphalesion made a very good point here:    It's Artificial intelligence for a reason. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by AllPossible on 2 August, 2019, 2:29
Exactly. We program them & get confrontational when they begin to out smart us lol.. Look at the calculator 60+ years old & beats us on every calculation. Humans are designed to eventually kick our own ass
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin on 2 August, 2019, 3:18
For an extremely good read on current AI, this article offers a lot... https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/1/28/18197520/ai-artificial-intelligence-machine-learning-computational-science
Comment icon #8 Posted by Desertrat56 on 2 August, 2019, 17:52
This is crazy!  Grad students still don't get credit for papers written by them for their professor or their names on patents created from their research so why is anyone trying to get an AI on a patent?

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