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Should an AI be awarded a patent for its own inventions ?
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