Patents are an integral part of product design across the world. In order to protect an original idea, a filed patent makes it so that others can’t recreate an original idea for a set period of time. But what if artificial intelligence creates all the original ideas first?
Artificial Intelligence is sucking up original ideas
Reported by Nature, AI programs are currently at the forefront of inventing in a litany of industries. From creating new pharmaceuticals to chemical weapons, a lot of new inventions are created due to artificial intelligence.
As Nature states, this is currently breaking the boundaries of patent law. With existing patent law worldwide under the assumption that all novel concepts are crafted by human ingenuity, AI could end up misconstruing future patent filings.
In fact, this is already happening. Last year, Australian Inventor Stephen Thaler fought for AI to be classed as an inventor in court. The program, DARBUS, invented a food container and a light-emitting beacon. DARBUS has since been classed as an inventor in Australia and South Africa.
But why is this an issue? Well, as companies like Google approach Artificial General Intelligence, AI programs will be able to create on their own. With only major companies having the datasets and resources available to have AGIs, they will be able to pump out parents faster than single humans ever could.
What countries allow this?
Currently, there are not many companies that allow artificial intelligences to be classed as an inventor on patents. On the other hand, there are a few, and this is quickly becoming a more pressing issue across the world.
As pointed out by Nature, the “United Kingdom, United States, Europe, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand” have rejected AI as parents. However, there is some wiggle room for some of these regions.
For example, in Germany, AI Inventors can only have their ideas patented if they’re filed under the name of the AI’s owner. This would also mean that the AI would need to be promoted to invent instead of designing on its own.
Outside of South Africa, most countries are against the idea of artificial intelligence creating products. After all, allowing computers to freely create could cause massive issues for human inventors.