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Can AI Invent?

On the 29th of September 2022, iNtaka LawTech Lab will host Dr Desmond Osaretin Oriakhogba, one of the foremost authors on Copyright and Intellectual Property Law. Dr Oriakhogba will be presenting on artificial intelligence and intellectual property with a specific focus on AI inventorship or, whether AI can invent and hence, be patent holders.

The question of AI inventorship was thrust into the spotlight in 2015, when Dr Stephen Thaler attempted to patent 2 devices created by Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS), a system developed by Dr Thaler. The patent applications were rejected by the European Patent Office, United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office, United States Patent and Trademark Office and most recently, a full federal court in Australia pronounced that DABUS could not be a patent holder. 

So what exactly is DABUS?

In a nutshell, DABUS is a simulation of neural networks which produces a stream of consciousness. Through this process, it forms new ideas or inventions which are filtered for novel and meaningful developments. You can read more about it here and here. For the purposes of the talk, it is sufficient to know that the system develops new inventions almost entirely independent of human input. 

This production of new ideas by linking concepts gives DABUS and other creativity machines their ‘sentience’. As noted above, while designed and created by humans, their output or inventions can have minimal to no human interference. If an invention has no or minimal human interference, can we still attribute those inventions to the creator of the AI system or machine? It is precisely this question that Dr Oriakhogba will investigate from an Intellectual Property Law angle. 

Join us, as Dr Oriakhogba examines the various ways in which AI systems and technology will impact IP generally and AI inventorship specifically. By drawing from his publications on the topic, he will traverse a range of jurisdictions and how they have dealt with AI inventorship and compare them with the landmark decision of the South African Companies and IP Commission to grant DABUS a patent.

Date: 29th September
Time: 1PM
Venue: iNtaka Lawtech Lab Seminar
Or join us virtually on Teams: bit.ly/3qYaBOV