Artificial intelligence and its latest innovations have been all the rage lately. Naturally, this has also led to some apprehension from regulators about the potentially negative impacts the technology could have. Now, in a rather interesting case, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a computer scientist's petition to grant a patent to his artificial intelligence system.
Computer scientist Stephen Thaler filed patent applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for reportedly unique prototypes of a beverage holder and a light beacon. Thaler claims that these prototypes were generated by its AI system called Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS), created at his Missouri-based firm Imagination Engines Inc.
However, the USPTO refused to attribute the patent to DABUS, emphasizing that patents can only be granted to human inventors and that DABUS cannot be a legal creator of the prototypes.
The USPTO's decision was upheld by federal judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. While Thaler tried to convince the Supreme Court that refusing patents to AI systems "curtails our patent system's ability - and thwarts Congress's intent - to optimally stimulate innovation and technological progress", the court declined to hear his challenge.
Thaler has also filed for patents in other countries on the same basis but has had very limited success, if any. The computer scientist is also vying for copyright protection for his AI-generated art, but given his current court loss as well as the fact that this is still an area that even regulators are trying to understand better, there's little chance that Thaler will enjoy more success here.
Source: Reuters | Image credits: Background by Mikhail Nilov and Robot Png vectors by Lovepik.com
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