Humans Remain Integral to AI

An October 2020 report released by the United States Patent and Trademark Office offers opinions by the business and manufacturing community about Artificial Intelligence. The report,  Public Views on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property Policy, is based on comments the USPTO received from 197 stakeholders, including individuals, associations, corporations and foreign IP offices in 2019 and 2020.

Comments fell into these themes:

  • AI has no universally recognized definition, and comments urged caution when crafting IP policies related to AI.
  • Current definitions are narrow and typically refer to individual tasks related to image recognition, translation and other well-defined domains that don’t address artificial general intelligence (AGI), which is generally viewed as a theoretical possibility that could arise in a distant future.
  • Based on the majority view that AGI has not yet arrived, most comments suggested that current AI could neither invent nor author without human intervention, and human beings remain integral to the operation of AI.
  • Existing U.S. IP laws are calibrated correctly to address the evolution of AI, however, commenters were split on whether any new classes of IP rights would ensure a more robust IP system.

Other comments addressed patents, copyrights, and other IP as they relate to AI. A full list of responses can be found in the 56-page report.

The Executive Summary said, “a key priority of the USPTO is to maintain U.S. leadership in innovation, especially in emerging technologies, including AI. The USPTO is working to ensure that appropriate IP incentives are in place to encourage further innovation in this area.”