When machines create: Should AI be recognised as an inventor?


Researchers from the University of Surrey have teamed up with US artificial intelligence company Dabus to file patents in an AI system’s name, but the idea of recognising AI as an inventor has received mixed response from the industry.

Patent offices currently insist that new inventions are attributed to a human inventor. While a business can own a patent, it cannot be listed the inventor of the patented innovation.

The researchers believe that patent offices are unlikely to assign intellectual property rights to an AI due to these rules, which they believe are “outdated”.

Dabus AI has previously invented an interlocking food container, which can be fitted together to make transportation safer, and is also easier for robotic arms to lift. Likewise, it also created a flashing lamp that mimics neural activity, flickering in a rhythm that is difficult for humans to ignore.

The researchers have applied for patents for these inventions with the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom, Europe and the US.