An AI System Should Be Recognized As the Inventor of Two Ideas In Patents Filed On Its Behalf, Academics Say

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC An artificial intelligence system should be recognized as the inventor of two ideas in patents filed on its behalf, a team of academics says. The AI has designed interlocking food containers that are easy for robots to grasp and a warning light that flashes in a rhythm that is hard to ignore. Patents offices insist innovations are attributed to humans — to avoid legal complications that would arise if corporate inventorship were recognized. The academics say this is “outdated.” And it could see patent offices refusing to assign any intellectual property rights for AI-generated creations. As a result, two professors from the University of Surrey have teamed up with the Missouri-based inventor of Dabus AI to file patents in the system’s name with the relevant authorities in the UK, Europe and US. Dabus is designed to develop new ideas, which is “traditionally considered the mental part of the inventive act,” according to creator Stephen Thaler.

Law professor Ryan Abbott told BBC News: “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. 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.” He suggested an AI should be recognized as being the inventor and whoever the AI belonged to should be the patent’s owner, unless they sold it on.

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