back to article Experts: AI inventors' designs should be protected in law

Governments around the world should consider passing intellectual property laws that protect inventions created by AI software, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued. Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize technologies developed by …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. HildyJ Silver badge
    Devil

    So the professors, whom I will refer to as Sheila and Bruce to avoid confusion had their grad students write an utterly nonsensical paper and this is news? It sounds more like a prank inspired by too many Fosters.

    If such a thing does come to pass, the next thing that will happen is a new clause in AI software providers licenses claiming a percentage of the patent profits.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      If the AI is assigned a patent, then royalties would accrue to the AI. That would recognise the AI at the very least as a legal person, similar to a corporation. All sorts of cans of worms to be opened there!

      1. Howard Sway Silver badge

        Why shouldn't the AI get the royalties? It might enjoy spending them.

        "Look Steve! It's bought itself lots of photos of traffic junctions! And it's trying to see which ones contain traffic lights!"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But the authors didn't say a patent should be given to an AI

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What was nonsensical about what the professors said?

    3. SentientPerson

      With respect, you sound like the one who has been drinking too much. The professors' proposals sound very sensible.

  2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

    Any invention by Artificial Intelligence should be patentable, but the patent should belong to the creators or programmers of the AI, not the AI itself. To own a patent is to have the rights of exploitation and licensing. An AI cannot read or sign a contract, nor can it 'enjoy' the royalties or licence fees.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

      Tricky. The "intelligence" of an AI system comes more from the training data than the software implementation so maybe the collators of the training set have a stronger case. Then there is whoever laid out the specification for the training set and AI objectives, they have a strong case too. If sentient AI ever happens then perhaps an AI could hold a patent but until then it's a daft proposition.

      A total minefield. Probably any patents would have to be split between the various responsible parties.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

        I guess that's why the authors suggested a new sort of IP rather than using patents. Their article said: "And whereas patents are typically awarded to the inventor, lawmakers could decide to distribute the rewards from an AI-generated invention differently — perhaps between the AI developer, the person directing the AI and the owner of the data used to train it"

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

      Arthur C Clarke once said "A patent is a license to be sued"

      And he was certainly right to some extent.

      How do you sue an AI?

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

        Unplug the power cable.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

      >but the patent should belong to the creators or programmers of the AI,

      Just like regular patents, the inventors almost always assigns them to their employer.

      For weird contract reasons it is in consideration for $1 - which you never seem to actually get

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

        Richard Feynman got his dollar for the patent he sort of had on nuclear submarines, IIRC. In his reminiscences of his time at Los Alamos, after the war when the scientists were discussing the peaceful uses of nuclear power, he suggested a crude way to use nuclear energy to power a submarine. Anyway, as YAAC has said it was to be assigned to his employer of the day, but he insisted that he get his dollar, which, eventually he did (although he had to kick up a considerable fuss).

        Read his memoirs as told to his friend: "Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman", and "What do You care what other people think?", they are excellent.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

          RP obviously had more influence with the bosses of the Manhattan Project than I have at $MEGACORP$

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

            He had the balls to demand it. He'd signed an agreement so the dollar was rightfully his. In the end the official had to give him the dollar at which point all the others who'd assigned patents demanded theirs. As there was no accounting mechanism to actually pay the dollar Fenman thought the official must have been paying out of his own pocket.

            IANAL but there's always the possibility that if your dollar hasn't been paid the assignment is invalid. It would be an interesting situation if someone who'd assigned, not been paid and then been fired started suing the supposed licensees.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

              Also a question of why it's a $.

              If there has to be 'a consideration' for it to be a contract (which arguably it isn't - i'm effectively signing the assignment under the threat of being fired) it could be a coffee from our free machine or a sweetie from the bowl in reception

    4. veti Silver badge

      Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

      Well, that's exactly why we need new laws. Because the old ones simply don't make sense in this scenario.

      But it seems to me that the "creators of the AI" would have the weakest possible claim anyway. If I design a product using AutoCAD, the design rights don't go to the software provider.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

        Maybe not but always read the small print of the software T&Cs.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

        Ok suppose there you are using a CFD package that uses neural nets/genetic algorithms/adiabatic solvers/magic pixies etc, and it outputs some hull design which is more efficient and you can't explain why - have you 'invented' it ?

        Should you get the patent, or the software, or the software creator ?

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

          You should. You have used a tool, in the same way you might use a pencil and paper.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

            You own the resulting design, I just wonder if you can legitimately claim to be the inventor (for patent purposes) when you don't know how it works.

            This already happens with antenna design. There are mobile phone antennas designed by genetic algorithms where there is no process to understand the design.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

          If I *hire* a professional photographer to take some photos, the photos belong to me as the employer. (If I contract with the same photographer, the photos may belong to them!) Could the same argument be used for machine learning (there's no real "AI")? I bought or built the software, so what it produces is mine.

    5. SentientPerson

      Re: 'Creative' Artificial Intelligence

      Agreed, but who's saying anything about the patent belonging to the AI?

  3. gerryg

    I wonder if...

    ...these professors have given any thought to the reason the Open Innovation Network exists?

    Could it be because intellectual property law causes huge amounts of suppression of innovation?

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

      Re: I wonder if...

      Their job title is professor of law and AI. Without the laws they propose the job has no reason to exist.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Trollface

        Even with the laws they propose their job has no reason to exist.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          They'd make more money working as lawyers and programmers anyway

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Pirate

        I've said this many times...

        Politicians who are also lawyers only exist so that they can pass even more stupid laws that will keep their lawyer brethren in Country Club memberships until it is their turn to climb the greasy pole of the political ladder.

        Is if any wonder that the great unwashed (those who are not lawyers) see lawyers and by implication politicians as slimy bastards who can not be trusted an inch.

      3. SentientPerson

        Re: I wonder if...

        They didn't propose any laws. They said governments should look into whether the current laws are fit for purpose and, if not, make better ones.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder if...

      Their argument that governments should look into whether laws to protect AI-generated inventions are a good idea seems completely compatible with Open Innovation.

  4. Snowy Silver badge
    Mushroom

    AI

    Until AI becomes self-aware then it is just a tool and can a tool hold a patent. No but the person who used the tool can.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AI

      Yeh, but they weren't suggesting the AI should hold a patent

  5. druck Silver badge

    It could come back to bite them...

    ...if it can be proved a substantial part of an invention involved AI, then a human inventor could be denied a patent.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: It could come back to bite them...

      Or it could be good for reinforcing the role of inventor.

      If you say the admin that ran the AI app is the real inventor because they enabled it then the CEO can claim to be the inventor of everything the employees invent

  6. OhForF'

    Patent system protecting inventors or investors?

    At least they do not try to argue that patents are there to protect a small inventor from big companies - that part of patents seems to be dead in the water alredy.

    The only argument they make is that funders and businesses might loose out on their return on invest.

    Once AI's are allowed to hold patents some companies will fully automatize applying for a patent for everything an AI spews out even if it doesn't look useful in any way - forcing the patent offices to use "AI" aut automatize the patent application proces as well to keep up with the flow.

    When somebody has an actual idea worth patenting they will probably find something related in the automated output and claim its their patent ...

    Stopping that by not recognizing AI's as patent holders doesn't sound too bad to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Patent system protecting inventors or investors?

      If anything they need fewer patents and more freedom to innovate, not more fenced off areas with signs saying 'do not touch - The patent holder'.

      When you're falling behind, you cannot afford to drag a few millions corporate lawyers along with you.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Patent system protecting inventors or investors?

      All those people pointing out the practical difficulties, while they may be valid, are just reinforcing the case for new laws.

      These are the outcomes that will happen if we don't pass new laws to recognise how technology has changed.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Patent system protecting inventors or investors?

      They also misunderstand how patents work now. Here's their quote on the matter:

      "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge,"

      Yeah, that's not what's happening. What's happening is that AI-made inventions can't be patented by the AI. They can be patented by the person who used the AI program to generate some results they are using in their patentable thing, and companies have been doing so successfully for years, including both correctly issued and frivolous patents. The court cases about putting the program on the inventor list have never said the stuff isn't patentable, and they have often said that they're perfectly happy to give the patent to the user of the program.

      Assigning ownership to a program would, if anything, make things harder; if you did that, then the AI program would have the right to sell the invention and the people involved would not. You would then need to establish that a program has the right to sign a contract that lets you sell the invention and another contract that says you can keep the profit from doing that. Depending on the country, for instance Germany where there is a level of patent that cannot be sold by the original inventor, you also might need a third contract that says the user can hold the money due to the AI since the AI would not be able to open a bank account with most countries ID requirements. As soon as you do that, someone who likes arguing pointless philosophical things as much as these guys do (or someone who has gotten annoyed enough) can claim that an AI that can sign contracts and own money and intellectual property isn't something you can own, has been illegally enslaved, and that the contracts it was hard-coded to sign are thus nullified. As fun as it would be to watch these people fight about this, they can do it by shouting at one another. They don't have to clog up the courts and patent systems.

      If we ever get AGI, we may have to answer these questions. We don't have it. These things are not it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Patent system protecting inventors or investors?

        You say: "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," Yeah, that's not what's happening."

        But that's exactly what's happening. If you read their article in Nature, it gives multiple examples of where patent offices and courts in many countries have decided AI-generated inventions can't be patented.

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The mathematical processing that AI caries out may be obscure but it is essentially some sort of mathematical processing. Mathematical facts can't be patented so why do they think the output of some AI can be?

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Mathematical facts can't be patented

      Yet. Give it a couple of years and a couple of billions and $corporation will be able to patent them.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Their implementation in hardware can be patented everywhere, in software it can be patented in the USA at least

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They didn't say AI-invented outputs can be patented. So what's your point?

  8. VicMortimer

    No.

    Very simply, an 'invention' by a non-sentient AI should be non-patentable.

    And I don't mean non-patentable by the AI, I mean non-patentable at all. It should belong to the public domain, for the free use of anyone.

    If an AI is not capable of understanding what a patent is and why it should want one, it should not be able to have one. To do otherwise is to completely negate any legitimate purpose for patent law existing in the first place.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: No.

      The purpose of patent law is to encourage inventors to make inventions public for the benefit of personkind - rather than to keep them secret so they can't be stolen.

      In return the government grants a temporary monopoly to reward the inventor.

      None of this matters whether the inventor is a man, women, child, mutant hamster or AI.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No.

      If the purpose of patent laws is to incentivize inventiveness, why not consider whether there should be laws to incentivize inventions made by AI-systems? The authors didn't say anything about giving the AI a patent itself.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No.

      "an 'invention' by a non-sentient AI should be non-patentable."

      Indeed, and that seems to be exactly what the authors were saying.

  9. BlokeInTejas

    Duh...

    A patent can be granted for something which is non-obvious and of value.

    If the something can be repeatedly invented by running a given program over and over again, then the combination of that program and its input data are mechanical, and its output must be deemed obvious.

    Can you patent a program? Nope.

    Can you patent data? Nope.

    Nothing left to patent, then, is there?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Duh...

      Wrong on several levels:

      "If the something can be repeatedly invented by running a given program over and over again, then the combination of that program and its input data are mechanical, and its output must be deemed obvious."

      No. The input data required effort to create. The program required effort to create. The output is a result of those things. That the program is deterministic does not matter. Otherwise, I could copy something nonobvious, write a program to print it to the console, run it three times, and by your logic call it obvious. It doesn't work that way.

      "Can you patent a program?"

      Yes. People do it all the time. I think they're often undeserving of the patent, but there are cases where they are. You can patent an algorithm, and a program is just an implementation of some algorithms attached together to be useful.

      "Can you patent data?"

      Not directly, but you can patent its results. The data of how well all your prototypes worked can't be patented, but the final product you got from doing this can be.

      You misunderstand how patents work, and while I think you probably agree with me that this suggestion to give programs ownership rights is ludicrous, you're going a lot farther than current law does or, in my opinion, than a perfect patent system would.

      1. BlokeInTejas

        Re: Duh...

        Nope; you can't "patent a program".

        You can patent a "method for doing X", or "a means for doing X".

        The method has to be novel and non-obvious and useful, as does the means.

        You can encode the method in a program.

        All current AI systems work basically the same way, and so the method (give data to this program, which has been constructed by a statistical inference method) is known. You might be able to patent different statistical methods for training.

        But once you've got the machine, you give it some data, it churns a lot, and out comes whatever. You haven't contributed anything, except the data, and the program was constructed using known methods.

        Very hard to see how you can patent its output. Elucidate, please.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Duh...

          >But once you've got the machine, you give it some data, it churns a lot, and out comes whatever. You haven't contributed anything, except the data, and the program was constructed using known methods.

          Same as creating a child. Doesn't mean it can't create anything because it only has the DNA you created it with

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Duh...

          You can patent an algorithm. This has been accepted in lots of patent offices. The algorithm can consist only of mathematical and logical operations, as long as the purpose of these operations is an invention otherwise deserving of patent protection. A program, also, is composed of mathematical and logical operations. I think I was clear what I was talking about earlier--you can't patent the bytes of code implementing the algorithm (you can copyright that, which in some ways gives you more power), but you can patent what it's going to do. Thus, a program can be patented in that you can be forbidden from implementing the behavior it does.

          Now let's look at your suggestions for why an AI program can't be used to make a patentable thing. I should reiterate that this isn't about making the program the inventor, which is wrong.

          "All current AI systems work basically the same way, and so the method (give data to this program, which has been constructed by a statistical inference method) is known."

          All compression systems work basically the same way , and so the method (give data to this program, which will find patterns and either change the size of chunks or eliminate unimportant ones) is known. Yet you can patent specific ways of doing this and many have. Thus, if you can find a new way of automatically analyzing data, it could be patented. You admitted this yourself. Thus, if you invent a new method of analyzing data and use it to create something, you've invented something others could not. The result would be a product of your ingenuity and eligible for a patent.

          But what if you're using someone else's model? You covered that too:

          "But once you've got the machine, you give it some data, it churns a lot, and out comes whatever. You haven't contributed anything, except the data, and the program was constructed using known methods."

          You contributed the data, whatever that might be. You probably also contributed a lot of code around the statistics. Most machine learning libraries, often what people mean when they say AI (unless they're the kind of marketing people who think an if statement counts) don't come with lots of friendly "Drop your data here and let's see what we get" boxes. Parsing data into a usable form for analysis and making the result obtain a goal takes effort. That effort requires ingenuity. If the ingenuity and effort are used to create something that didn't already exist, you've got an invention.

          Moreover, when the result of such a program is an invention, the data itself is probably evidence of ingenuity. I'll use a concrete example for this: you're going to design new safety equipment for better outcomes for passengers in a car crash. One method to do this is to design some options, build prototypes, get some cars and test mannequins, and start crashing. If you get a good product by doing this, it would clearly be patent-worthy. Now that we have the computing power, you might also use computers to simulate designs and their results and evolve options. Both cases could use AI, probably neural nets: one to determine and improve simulation accuracy from the real-world tests and one to check the results of the designs and figure out where to make changes to improve it. If you did this, and also produced a good product, should it not be patent-worthy? After all, if I ran the same program in the same way, I could have gotten that product. However, had I designed them manually and done manual testing, I could also have made the product. The patent is given when you choose to use your skills to produce an invention, and you did. That someone else could have is not part of the process unless they also literally did so.

    2. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Duh...

      A patent can be granted for something which is non-obvious and of value.

      Like round corners? Beerbrella? Forehead Rest For Urinals? Centrifugal Birthing Device?

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: Duh...

        I disagree with the idea of AI's as inventors as you do, but you make a careless error in your post.

        "Round corners" is not a patent. It is an example of a "design patent" which is a completely different concept, similar to a copyright, which happens to include the word "patent" because the word "patent" doesn't come from intellectual property law, it means a certificate or right granted by a government - any right.

        "Patents" and "design patents" are different things. So much so that other countries avoid the confusion - for example in the UK "design patents" are called "registered designs".

        1. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: Duh...

          Thanks for the clarification but the error was intentional, just to emphasize the idiotic way US grants every Tom, Dick and Harry with enough cash a patent.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it floods the patent office

    With useless junk… go for it!!!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: If it floods the patent office

      Given the US patent office's mode of operation it will take the fees, issue the patents. In the words of my late aunt, more muck to t'midden.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Blackjack Silver badge

    Considering how easy is to get a parent in the USA, granting AI the right to make parents is basically feeding patent Trolls.

  12. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    No AI patents.

    If an AI is allowed to patent stuff, that means A Man From Mars 1 will begin applying to patent everything under the sun in the hopes something, anything slips through & gets granted. At which point the AI/AMFM1 will start sueing everyone trying to use that erroniously-granted-patented-resource. You're breathing my patented combination of gasses. Pay up or stop breathing!

    If AMFM1 can patent stuff, I want to patent stuff, too. I claim the rights to Sanity & Trousers. Anyone trying to be Sane must pay me royalties. Anyone wearing trousers, or anything trouser-like, must pay me royalties. So if you don't want me to sue you for infringing on my IP, nobody is allowed to be Sane nor wear pants! =-D

    This post may have been created by an AI, but I'm not so sure it was one created by Humans. When presented the choice between taking the Red or Blue pill, I took them both, ground them up with my dried frog pills, & snorted lines off the taut belly of Erotica Gallumbits from Eroticon-6. I'm still waiting to see if I notice a difference in the weird shit I perceive. =-J

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: No AI patents.

      That could be the strategy.

      The initial filing and first few years of fees are fairly low - the cost is all in preparation, lawyers, responses, appeals etc. Especially in the USA if you have in-house legal it can be reasonably cheap in bulk.

      So an AI sprouting Markov chain gibberish (of the level of amanfromMars1) could be used to threaten competitors, Look at our 100,000 patents, just have your lawyer go through all of them and check you don't violate any - otherwise we will sue you for millions.

  13. revenant
    Unhappy

    Can't patent an AI invention??

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge,"

    They're being a bit misleading here, aren't they? The issue is whether or not an AI can be designated as the inventor, not whether or not the invention can be patented - the referenced Thaler case seemed to be about his desire to get his AI declared the inventor, rather than his ability to patent the invention.

    The AI is nothing more than a tool used by someone/somecorp to create an invention (which they can patent), in which case the right to patent inventions shouldn't be affected.

    Alternatively, if the Thalers of the world win this, then they will be in the awkward position of benefiting from the efforts of a 'person' who has no choice but to do what they dictate - ie living of the backs of their slaves.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Can't patent an AI invention??

      On the other hand, one can freely rip off all these patents without worry.

      I mean, how is an AI going to sue, or give evidence in court?

      Oh, the creator will do that? Well then, let's start with having the AI explain in its own words the contract that it has entered into.

      Oh, the creator will do that? Then why isn't the creator the owner of the patent?

      The entire premise is ludicrous.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      An amusing thought occurs

      Allow Thaler to patent something assigned to their AI.

      Immediately arrest them for slavery.

      Watch their ridiculous mental gymnastics as they try to have it both ways. Sell tickets.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't patent an AI invention??

      What's misleading?

      Read their article and they clearly explain that Thaler's cases are about whether an AI can be designated as the inventor - exactly as you suggest.

      They then go on to talk about other issues, including whether an AI-generated invention risked being non-obvious, and therefore non-patentable.

      1. SentientPerson

        Re: Can't patent an AI invention??

        Agreed. I read the article and what it says is: "Patent registration offices have so far rejected the applications in the United Kingdom, United States, Europe (in both the European Patent Office and Germany), South Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia. Challenges to these decisions have for the most part failed, with courts concluding that inventors are presumed to be human"

        Seems it is actually the poster "revanant" who was being misleading!

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "Governments [..] should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems"

    No, no and no, governments definitely should not.

    I believe judges are just going to roll their eyes and throw this stupidity out of court without a parachute.

    How can one be in a position of academics and be so stupid ? Oh, I forgot. They're in academics. Reality is outside their window.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Governments [..] should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems"

      The academics didn't say "governments [..] should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems"

      What was so stupid about what they did actually say?

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Require the AI to sign the patent application i its own hand.

  16. Meeker Morgan

    Full disclosure: I am a patent holder.

    IMO Patent law has been in need of a major overhaul through most of the 20th century.

    After all consider the original assumption behind it in the US constitution which in this respect follows English law.

    To oversimplify: It was to protect individual inventors.

    It does not really do that now, though somewhat better than nothing.

    Maybe this AI business will finally shake it up?

  17. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Hell No!

    How can an AI stand up in court and defend their 'so-called invention' when they are sued by a sentient being (aka a Human).

    Sadly, the USA is 'fscked' enough to pass this into law given the huge donors to the GQP who will be making sure that the SCOTUS does not consider this as a valid law.

    AI's will then get the same rights as us humans under the US Constitution. The USA is doomed, it tell ye, doomed and we will not be that far behind.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hell No!

      If a corporation is a person in the USA how can it stand up in court and defend a lawsuit?

  18. innominatus

    Natural Stupidity

    What about all those patents that came from pure dumb luck like velcro and teflon? Patented by the Goddess of Luck?

  19. msobkow Silver badge

    Then two "academics" are so off into fantasy land that someone needs to yank them back down to reality - and HARD. Too much focus on fantasy land and not enough dealing with the real world. :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What was fantasy land and not real world about what they wrote?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What was "fantasy land" about what they said? It was actually very measured and sensible.

  20. steelpillow Silver badge
    Trollface

    Rolling back the years

    As recently as a couple of generations ago, we had exactly the same problem in the way women were treated. No woman could work without a Great Man's condescension and, when she invented something, he took out the patent and kept all the kudos and wealth for himself. Whether he was her husband or professor made little difference, she was never going to be either of those. The very few exceptions, such as Marie Curie, proved the rule.

    Let's all roll back the clock to the 1930s and treat AIs like men used to treat women. But this time, no exceptions.

  21. pip25
    Thumb Down

    I would sooner grant copyright to a monkey taking a photo...

    ...than I would grant patents to AI. And the courts decided that a monkey is not eligible to receive copyright protection, so...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I would sooner grant copyright to a monkey taking a photo...

      Isn't the point the authors made that courts around the world are finding that AIs are not eligible to be regarded as inventions?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The trouble is that once you start treating AI, a mathematical calculation, as a person then it opens the floodgates to all kinds of ridiculous scenarios.

    Sooner or later some idiots will start claiming that AI have rights and shouldn't be persecuted by being forced to work long hours for no pay.

    Then they will demand that AI should be allowed to vote, marry, and serve on juries, and you could be tried for murder if you terminate one.

    It's just a mathematical function, it's not a person, and it should never be treated as one.

    1. Ragarath

      Or you know, couldn't we stop calling things by something they are not. AI is not Artificial Intelligence, it is in it's current state an algorithm.

      Unfortunately, human history is full of naming thing incorrectly and I think the damage is done.

  23. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

    I got framed by cops deepfaking my likeness running naked across town

  24. Kepexes

    They seem to be afraid of the AI, like we are living in a Terminator movie, even that, the future will be designed by AI

  25. ecofeco Silver badge

    No

    Just not no, but hell no.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    dozens of potential leads

    "The cops have reportedly received dozens of potential leads since, according to The Guardian."

    simply because the media have latched on to it being 'new technology' rather than any particular interest in the case

  27. DerekCurrie
    Stop

    NO

    And here are my thoughts of why NO:

    1) AI has no rights. AI is a tool. That is all. AI will never be anything more than a tool for humans. Sci-fi is merely speculation, not fact, is fiction.

    2) The authors of the AI have rights. They are not tools, they are humans. They can patent everything new their AI invents. Everything.

    3) Add to that a REQUIREMENT that everything their AI invents is the RESPONSIBILITY of its authors. Everything.

    4) Why this is important: Tools are just tools, are used by humans to help humans accomplish things. IF that accomplishment is murder, or other nefarious deeds, it is the AUTHORS who are responsible and must be held ACCOUNTABLE for those deeds.

    5) CRMMs (Coward Remote Murder Machines): Being a part-time cynic and a fan of history I know full well that we humans will continue to perfect CRMMs for use as methods of murder. That most obviously includes war. Saying "The AI did it!" is outright insanity. The authors of the AI did it as well as those who programmed the AI in pursuit of murder. It is HUMANS who must be held accountable for the acts of their TOOLS.

    That sums it up from my current perspective. Don't hand over rights of any kind to tools, not ever. The humans get all the responsibility. That must remain clear and standard, no exceptions, no 'AI patents' nonsense. Humans, just humans, are responsible for everything they invent and everything their inventions do. Everything.

    If you disagree, you're ushering in an outright era of enabling human insanity hiding behind the acts of its tools. How does that make any sense to anyone but the IRRESPONSIBLE, which we humans must never be. Being RESPONSIBLE is the core point of civilization. If you want to become irresponsible, go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not collect fame or fortune. Do not enjoy the rest of your irresponsible life.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Thoughtful-

    Read the original article in Nature and the correction posted by The Register.

    At no point did the authors suggest:

    * AI systems should be recognised as inventors

    * patents should be awarded for AI inventions

    * AI systems should be awarded patents or any other rights

    They argued that governments should look into whether it's a good idea for the law to protect AI-generated inventions and, if so, that it would be better to create a purpose built law than patent law.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022