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Last May, Bard and ChatGPT “responded” to a request from WJI as to why people in manufacturing should not fear AI. Now, they respond to a second request: do they agree with a legal ruling that AI cannot be listed as an inventor on a patent? Below are their responses, followed by the thoughts of WJI Patent Columnist Bill Honaker.

Bard’s perspective:

As a large language model, I believe the current legal stance on AI inventorship is justified, with some nuances. Here’s why:

Lack of intent and moral rights. Unlike humans, AI lacks the independent capacity to form intent and pursue goals. My outputs are based on my training data and prompts, not on a conscious desire to solve problems or innovate. Granting me inventorship would ignore the human effort behind my creation and training, diluting the moral rights of true inventors.

Unclear attribution and accountability. AI models are complex, incorporating data from countless sources. Identifying the specific contribution of AI in an invention is challenging, raising potential attribution disputes and ethical concerns. Additionally, holding an AI accountable for potential harm caused by its creations is legally complicated.

System integrity and misuse. Recognizing AI as inventors could weaken the patent system. Malicious actors could exploit AI to generate spurious inventions, flooding the system and eroding trust. Moreover, granting legal rights to AI creates ethical ambiguities when considering potential misuse of the invention for harmful purposes.

While I support the current legal stance, the debate is evolving. As AI advances, we may need to revisit the definition of “inventor” and explore alternative models for protecting AI-generated innovations. This could involve recognizing the contributions of both programmers and AI as part of a collaborative inventive process, without attributing full inventorship to the AI itself.

Ultimately, the goal should be to foster AI innovation while safeguarding the integrity of the patent system, protecting human ownership, and ensuring responsible development and use of AI-driven inventions.

ChatGPT’s perspective

The question of whether AI, like me, should be listed as an inventor on a patent application touches upon complex and evolving legal, ethical, and technological considerations. I’ll outline why, under current understandings and legal frameworks, it is generally agreed that AI should not be listed as an inventor due to the nature of invention and inventorship.

Human-centric definition of inventorship. The concept of an “inventor” in patent law has traditionally been human-centric. It is rooted in the idea that an inventor applies a non-obvious and novel thought process to solve a problem or create something new. This human-centric view underpins most intellectual property laws, which are designed to protect human creativity and ingenuity.

AI as a tool, not a creator. AI, including myself, operates based on algorithms and data provided by humans. We process information and generate outputs based on predefined parameters and learning from vast datasets. This process, while sophisticated, is fundamentally different from human creativity. AI does not possess consciousness, intent, or the ability to conceptualize problems and solutions in the way humans do. We are tools used by human inventors to achieve certain tasks more efficiently.

Legal precedents and policies. Current legal systems in many jurisdictions, including the United States and the European Union, have upheld the principle that inventors must be natural persons. This reflects a broader legal recognition that AI, as of now, does not have legal personhood or the capacity for legal rights and responsibilities. Allowing AI to be listed as an inventor would require a significant overhaul of existing legal frameworks and an examination of the consequences of granting such a status to non-human entities.

Ethical and responsibility considerations. Assigning inventorship to AI raises ethical questions about responsibility and accountability. In the realm of patents, the inventor bears certain responsibilities and enjoys specific rights. If an AI were listed as an inventor, it would be challenging to address issues like moral responsibility for the invention or the handling of rights and profits derived from it.

Innovation and incentive structure. The patent system is designed to incentivize human innovation. Granting patents to humans for their inventive activities encourages further research and development. If AI were recognized as inventors, it might complicate this incentive structure, possibly devaluing human contribution and effort.

In conclusion, under the current legal, ethical, and technological landscape, it is appropriate that AI is not listed as an inventor on patent applications. This stance aligns with the fundamental principles of inventorship, the nature of AI as a tool rather than a creator, legal precedents, and the broader objectives of the patent system. Recognizing AI as an inventor would necessitate a reevaluation of many underlying principles of law and ethics, a task that society and legal systems are not presently equipped to undertake.

 

Editor’s note: the AI "responses" were attained by WAI Director of Technology Chuck Szymaszek.

 

Bill Honaker’s perspective

The AI perspectives are generally correct but have errors. Of the two perspectives, Chat GPT’s perspective is more accurate. Both have errors in their comments. This is to be expected. Even Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, doesn’t trust its answers. He recently said, “I probably trust the answers that come out of ChatGPT the least of anybody on Earth.”

I found Bard’s perspective to be the least helpful. Bard’s comment that granting it inventorship would ignore the human effort behind its creation and training, really misses the mark. An inventor is anyone who conceived of the invention in any claim within the patent. Creating or adjusting the tools is irrelevant. Bard also discusses being held liable for harm caused by being an inventor. To my knowledge, no inventor has ever been found liable for an invention that later caused harm. The use of the product may create liability, but not inventing it.

ChatGPT’s perspective is more correct. The only error was the comment that inventors apply a non-obvious and novel thought process to solve a problem or create something new. Inventors use thought to create non-obvious and novel solutions. This is important to understand: it’s the result that must be new and non-obvious, not how one thinks.

I enjoyed reading ChatGPT’s admission that AI does not possess consciousness, intent or the ability to conceptualize problems and solutions in the way humans do. That’s the problem with relying on the output from AI. They can’t anticipate problems and propose solutions.

I agree that AI is a tool for human inventors to get results more efficiently, and when people use it, they should be named as inventors. The USPTO suggested this when confronted with AI being named as an inventor. Dabus (short for “Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Science”) is an AI system created by Stephen Thalen. Dabus was named as the sole inventor on two patent applications.  The US Patent and Trademark office suggested that Thalen name himself as the inventor, but he refused. As a result, the USPTO refused the application. The same result occurred in other countries where he filed, except for South Africa, which issued the first AI patent.

The AI responses also failed to discuss who owns AI inventions. I asked ChatGPT, and it was wrong. It said that the creator of the AI device would own the invention. This is what Thalen argued. But in the U.S., the inventor owns the invention unless assigned to another. Thalen felt he should own it because he created the inventor. If this were the case, every mother and father throughout history would own every invention, since they created their sons and daughters.

 

 

The WAI Poland Chapter’s XI International Seminar, held Nov. 23-24, 2023, continued the chapter’s rich tradition of staging technical events, drawing more than 80 attendees from 25 countries. Attendees also heard about a new award named after one of the four listed founders of the chapter in 1997.

Chapter President Jan Pilarczyk said that the seminar, held at the MEALURGIA Hotel in Radomsko, saw hearty exchanges among participants. The attendees came from 25 companies, domestic and foreign.

The first day saw a memorable presentation by U.S. steel industry veteran Robert J. Glodowski, the 2002 winner of the WAI Mordica Award, who is now the principal of RJG Metallurgic LLC. His talk, The Evolving Technology of Steel Rod Manufacturing, was well received for the detail that it went into. That evening he was presented the Poland Chapter’s Professor Marian Schneider Award, which is the highest honor.

Pilarczyk noted that support from Glodowski, along with steel industry veteran Robert Shemenski, both winners of the Professor Marian Schneider Award, along with Eugeniusz Filipczyk, were instrumental in the Poland Chapter being created in 1997.

Of note, Glodowski’s presentation was translated into Polish by Piotr Milewski, of WireCo World Group, whose profile appears on the opposite page. Milewski also presented a paper the next day.

Also receiving the Professor Marian Schneider Award was Jan Krnáč, who made a presentation at the conference, Analysis of possibilities to improve the quality of drawn steel wires intended for the production of needles. The author and co-author of 14 publications and contributions to national and international conferences, including publications in foreign professional journals, Krnáč helped develop drawing technologies for new production equipment, using a holistic approach to achieve better technological properties.

The program included a panel discussion on the condition of the steel industry in the era of political and economic destabilization in the post-Covid period and in the face of war in Ukraine. The audience also heard about the creation of a new Poland Chapter award honoring the late Henryk Dawid, the 1957 founder of DAWID company, a producer of sieves and wire meshes. The idea came from his son, Jerzy Dawid, and Maciej Górak, the Chapter’s vice-president. The statuette has the WAI logo on the globe that emphasizes the global nature of the organization promoting the winners.

Henryk Dawid, who died March 29, 1999, at age 69, attended Interwire in Atlanta in 1997. Two years later, at Interwire 1999, the WAI Association’s Board of Directors approved the establishment of the Poland Chapter. In the application, Henryk and Jerzy Dawid were listed as two of the four founders, along with the late Prof. Bogdan Golis and Pilarczyk.

Interwire 2025 Points Meeting date set

The floor show of Interwire 2023 saw a healthy total of 335 exhibiting companies representing some 80 product categories, and WAI is optimistic that the upcoming Points Meeting set for March 21 will signal further strength. The meeting matters because it reflects the expectations of exhibitors.

The Points Meeting for Interwire 2023 saw a total of 133 booths taken that represent approximately 65,000 sq ft of exhibition space. The Points Meeting for Interwire 2021 saw a total of 63,650 sq ft of floor space taken by 140 exhibitors.

Exhibitor representatives get to pick first in order of their accumulated points from past participation. The booths will be assigned by WAI staff. After the Points Meeting is held, other companies wanting to exhibit can seek a booth by either going directly to the event website, interwire25.com, or contacting WAI Sales Director Shannon Timme.

“What we’ve seen so far is inspiring,” Timme said. “many companies had their interest set on Interwire 2025 far in advance. During the sold-out 2023 event we had exhibitors ready to lock in their space for 2025. Since then, the inquiries have been continuous.”

Members of WAI’s New England, Southeast, Midwest and Ohio Valley chapters have until March 29 to submit scholarship applications from their respective chapters.

For more details on applying, contact WAI Member Services Manager Corey Flynn at tel. 203-453-2777, ext. 128, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications must be received by March 29. Below are photos of 2023 recipients. N

Last year, WAI’s Ohio Valley Chapter (OVC) announced that it would launch a scholarship program, administered by The Wire Foundation, with plans for two $1,500 awards. It now is carrying out that mission, and as part of that is re-issuing a call for applications for the first time.

The chapter, which covers the states of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania (west of State College), and New York (west of Rochester), has joined the New England, Southeast and Midwest chapters in offering the program. “This is a good cause for the chapter and a big moment for all our members,” said OHC President Tom Maxwell.

Per the OVC outline, eligible applicants are academically qualified high school seniors or college students who are children, grandchildren, or dependents of WAI Ohio Valley Chapter members in good standing. Scholarships will be awarded up to $1,500 per recipient with preference for one to be for a two-year accredited technical school or associates program enrollee and/or the other to be for an accredited four-year college or university enrollee. The student must either be a graduating high school senior or currently enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year technical school, college or university.

Applicants must provide an essay (300-500 words) as to why they deserve the scholarship, their official transcript, and a resume of community service involvement, high school and/or college activities and three references. Any planned field of study is acceptable, and no financial information is required; however, special circumstances will be considered. For more details on applying, contact WAI Member Services Manager Corey Flynn at tel. 203-453-2777, ext. 128, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications due by March 29. They can be submitted to https://bit.ly/ OH24Scholar.

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