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August 28, 2022


RE AI inventions:
Identifying AI as the inventor is not necessary nor even consistent with our everyday understanding of the use of tools: if I use a wrench to tighten a bolt to attach two parts together, where my puny human strength would not be able to do so without the wrench, no one says that the wrench attached the parts together - everyone would agree that I attached them, using a tool.
Thus, identifying AI as an inventor is unnecessary and inconsistent with our usage regarding all other tools created and used by humans.

An obvious, and surprisingly not clearly addressed, question is whether inventorship simply tracks (devolves) to the human inventor / operator of the AI -- as for any other tool used in any endeavor.

The article seems to assume what has not been established. That is the article seems to assume that an "AI" tool (whatever all fits in that box) somehow has some form of "right" different from other software used as a tool by a human. This assumption without explanation seems like a bias in favor of AI by those that propound AI. If there's any issue here, and maybe there really is not (as suggested by the CAFC), it would seem to be this assumption.

Here's a follow-up, highlighting the "What's AI?" question.

If a human working in drug discovery, instead of having an AI engine, has a random drug candidate generator, and a candidate of this generator somehow completes "synthesis, testing, clinical trials, and approval process" as in the article, now is the "random drug candidate generator" the inventor?

What distinguishes a random generator from AI from other tools for data analysis and knowledge discovery? When, if ever, do the human inventors of those tools become removed somehow to the point of no longer being inventors of downstream results? What software properties might argue that inventorship should reside in the software?

If, analogously, as statute presently says, inventorship resides solely in humans, then what human qualities would software have to possess in order justify changing such law? So, possibly this also turns into the question of when does software merit a presently human right such as recognition for inventorship, and are we really anywhere near that situation?

I strongly agree with the other commentators here, and particularly appreciated the "wrench" analogy and the random invention generator. I have previously written up a little thought experiment in this vane, see here for anyone interested: https://www.kilburnstrode.com/knowledge/ai/ai-musings/artificial-inventors-again

There is a fundamental disconnect present above in EACH of the comments that seek to attribute to AI a "mere use as tool."

That fundamental disconnect has to do with "use of." TRUE AI is NOT mere "use of."

This is most clearly understood in the converse: where an AI would satisfy the LEGAL definition of inventor (and perhaps more critically, would satisfy the LEGAL definition of CO-inventor), the HUMAN involved (and in the case of CO-inventor, for the particular inventive aspect), would NOT merit meeting the LEGAL definition of inventor.

Merely opening some 'black box' into which the work of another (that work BEING the invention) is deposited, does NOT make the human gazing upon that work TO BE the LEGAL inventor.

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