31 March 2019

Can an Artificial Intelligence be an Inventor?

This is a fascinating topic and one that keeps cropping up.

For example, the famous IPKat ( http://www.ipkat.com/ ) has recently posted a report on the recent AIPPI event dealing with AI generated innovation.

I have not yet studied the slides. However, I do think that the conclusion reached by the writers does beg a few questions. For example, if an AI is not an inventor by dint of being used to assist and facilitate the innovation process, does the same apply to humans? In my practice, I would certainly name a human that assisted and facilitated the innovation process as an inventor. Perhaps that's simply a matter of ex abundante cautela, a trait for which us patent attorneys are notorious. Furthermore, in recent United States patent practice, it is becoming established that a computer must form an integral part of a software product in order for the software product to qualify as patentable subject matter.

One of the speakers, Ms Stevens, "concluded by echoing… that AI is a useful mathematical tool, but there is a necessary element of human intervention in training the AI and analysing the data output. Well I could just as well say that most scientists have been subject to human intervention in training. I am sure that they would object to their trainers having any claim over the data that they output.

Is this the beginning of a new form of bias against machines? In my view, that's dangerous. Morals aside, we cannot start our journey with different rules for AI's and humans. Not at least until we know for certain that AIs will never have consciousness.

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