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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 U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a feasibility study grant to Malaysia’s Hexa Capital Consultancy to support development of the Malaysia-U.S. (MYUS) submarine fiber optic cable system, which would be the first subsea cable system directly connecting Malaysia and the U.S.

A press release said that Malaysia currently connects to 18 international subsea cable systems, but of those, only the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) club cable connects to the U.S. The MYUS cable is expected to be just over 19,220 km with six landing stations in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. MYUS will also have three landing stations in U.S. states and territories across the Pacific. No details have yet been given about the MYUS cable in terms of planned capacity.

USTDA director Enoh T. Ebong said in a statement that the MYUS cable would add cost-effective digital connectivity capacity and “increase access to reliable and affordable digital services across Southeast Asia, including remote and underserved areas, while creating a secure communications link between the region and the U.S.”

Last modified on February 4, 2024

EllaLink reports that it has been awarded a contract by SPLANG (the Local Public Company for the Digital Development of Guyana) for a 2,100 km extension to the existing EllaLink cable to land in the South American French territory.

A press release said that the new branch will land in Cayenne, French Guiana, and include two fiber pairs. The system will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks. No timetable was provided.

The original EllaLink cable was lain between late 2020 and 2021 and runs from Fortaleza in Brazil via Cabo Verde and Madeira to Sines in Portugal, with a branch to Morocco. The 5,900-km cable offers around 100Tbps across four fiber pairs.

State-owned SPLANG manages and operates electronic communications infrastructures deployed by the Territorial Collectivity of Guyana. The project will include funding from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program.

This will be the first trans-Atlantic cable landing at the South American French territory. French Guiana currently has three other subsea cables planned or in operation, with two landing in Cayenne.

The Americas-II cable, laid in 2000, runs from Brazil to Florida via Cayenne, Venezuela, and a number of islands in the region, while 2019’s Kanawa cable from Orange connects Kourou in French Guiana to Schoelcher in Martinique. Set to go live later this year, Digicel’s Deep Blue One will connect Cayenne to Georgetown, Guyana; Paramaribo, Suriname; and Chaguaramas and Rockly Bay in Trinidad and Tobago.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

The United States Department of Energy (DoE) has selected a dozen projects across 11 states for $34 million in funding offered for the development of cable undergrounding solutions as part of efforts to improve the resilience of the country’s electricity system.

A press release said that the U.S. electric power distribution system—which has more than 5.5 million line-miles and some 180 million power poles—is too susceptible to damage by weather and its effects. DoE will fund projects that can further the deployment of “undergrounding” power lines.

One of the selected company projects chosen for funding is GE Vernova Advanced Research. Its project is to develop a “robotic worm tunneling construction tool that would dig and install conduit and cables for underground distribution powerlines in a single step. “GE’s system would mimic the natural movement of earthworms and tree roots to install 1,000 feet of cable and conduit in two hours with unmatched flexibility. The tool could deploy from a standard pickup truck and would eliminate the cost, complexity, and surface disruption compared with conventional approaches.”

In Idaho, Melni Technologies was selected for its work on “medium-voltage power cable splice kits that could be installed in 10-15 minutes, which is three-four times faster than conventional kits and would reduce failures and mistakes up to 90 percent by eliminating installation steps and potential human errors.”

In Kentucky, Prysmian Cables and Systems USA is seeking to come up with “a hands-free power cable splicing machine operating in underground vaults to reduce the share of splicing-caused medium-voltage network failures from 60-80 percent to less than 5 percent and dramatically improve the workforce safety by reducing the time the underground cable splicing crews spend in underground vaults.”

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Italy’s Prysmian Group has successfully commissioned the inter-array cable system for the Fécamp offshore wind farm, located in the English Channel, some 24 km off the French coast, in Normandy (Seine Maritime department).

A press release said that the Fécamp offshore wind farm is comprised of 71 wind turbines, has a total design capacity of nearly 500 MW. Prysmian secured the project in 2020 with a contract awarded by EDF Renewables and its partners.

“This important project marks a further significant milestone for the Group, being one of the first large-scale offshore wind farms located in France, in which the Group has full EPCI responsibility for the inter-array supply and installation contract,” said Alberto Boffelli, COO of Projects BU, Prysmian Group. A one-stop-shop service provider, Prysmian was responsible for the design, manufacture, installation, burial, termination and testing of a total of 118 km of 33 kV submarine cables with 630 mm2 cross-sections and both aluminum and copper cores to connect the 71 wind turbines that each has capacity of 7 MW to the offshore substation.

This contract confirms the trust and confidence that EDF Renewables and its partners place in Prysmian, having already awarded the Group other projects such as those for the St. Nazaire and Calvados offshore wind farms.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Buffalo Wire Works Co. Inc. (Buffalo Wire), announced that it has acquired Bison Steel, a company based in Depew, New York, that lays claim to having an unmatched industry product.

A press release said that the acquisition of Bison Steel deepens the portfolio of Buffalo Wire, which was founded in 1869, and supplies screening media for many industries, including aggregate, mining, industrial, recycling, asphalt, slag, green waste, topsoil and architectural. “Buffalo Wire Works is excited to launch this product as part of our ever-growing product suite.” 

At its website, Bison Steel notes that no other company can match its high-abrasion-resistant welded wire screens used in the aggregate and mining industries. Its welded high-carbon steel screens, created by a unique proprietary process, are very hard and abrasive resistant. They can last three times longer than traditional woven screens, reduce maintenance and increase production by up to 15%. Wire hardness can be up to 500 Brinell.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Hellenic Cables, the cables segment of Cenergy Holdings, announced that the South Fork Wind project has successfully powered up New York’s first offshore wind turbine, a major milestone in the construction of the first U.S. utility-scale offshore wind farm in federal waters.

A press release said that Hellenic Cables designed, manufactured, supplied, tested and terminated 30 km of 66 kV XLPE-insulated subsea inter-array cables and associated accessories. The cables were manufactured at Hellenic Cable’s plant in Corinth, Greece.

“This accomplishment reflects the dedication and expertise of everyone involved in this pioneering project,” said Alexis Alexiou, CEO of Cenergy Holdings. “We’re proud to work with industry leaders such as Ørsted and Eversource on a project that will help transform the US energy sector.”

Hellenic Cables already has a strong project pipeline in the U.S. offshore wind sector, with contracts for the supply of inter-array cables for flagship projects, including Revolution Wind in Connecticut and Rhode Island, Southcoast Wind in Massachusetts, and Dominion’s Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

A terrestrial cable has successfully traversed a pre-laid channel beneath the seabed on two islands in ocean waters north of the city of Zhoushan (part of East China’s Zhejiang Province), marking the completion of the first project of its kind in China.

Per multiple media reports, including China Daily, the terrestrial cable provided by the Hengton Group links the islands of Zhoushan and Shangyuanshan. The State Grid Zhoushan Power Supply Company, the project’s developer, said that inter-island energy transmission in China is usually done with submarine cables. However, China’s coastal waters have dense waterways and busy ships whose anchors could easily damage submarine cables, which led to using of a 10 kV one-km-long terrestrial cable that is buried deeper.

Li Zhen, the head of the design company of the project, said that other advantages include lower costs to make the cable as well as easier construction. To reduce tension and friction of the cable during the line laying, the company used wire rope traction, essentially installing an “exoskeleton” for the cable. It then used pipeline lubrication materials to reduce friction, ensuring that the cable remained intact during the dragging process.

Zhen said that this method could be “extensively applied to connect islands separated by short and medium distances of no more than 2 km.” The long-term goal, he added, is to achieve connections between islands over medium and long distances.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Gerdau reported the recent completion of commissioning of the company’s new steel processing heat-treatment facility in Modlothian, Texas.

A press release said that the facility—adjacent to Gerdau’s Midlothian, Texas electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mill—is the only one in North America that can produce stretched and stress relieved A722 bars. That capability provides improved stress relaxation properties for fasteners as well as post-tensioned and pre-stressed applications. Unique to the facility is the ability to produce lengths up to 65 feet long in both quench and tempered, as well as stretched and stress relieved products. The new facility was designed to meet the evolving demands of various industries, including the rapidly expanding renewable energy sector.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Rosendahl Nextrom recently equipped its in-house technology center with two brand-new laboratory lines for LAN cable and fiber optical cable production.

A press release said that Rosendahl Nextrom’s technology center, located at its headquarters in Austria, has been exclusively dedicated to datacom. Two new laboratory lines, one for loose tube production and another for Cat. 8 wire insulation, have been installed and are now available for test runs and trials:

The loose tube line, equipped with numerous features that enhance quality and productivity while reducing scrap, was designed to make a significant advancement in fiber optical cable manufacturing. Noteworthy for its compact design, the line achieves speeds of up to 1,200 m/min. Visitors can experience firsthand the improved performance of an enhanced fiber cutter, optimized jelly-filling, a cable drying system for high speeds, and more.

The second line is a high-speed insulation line designed for Cat. 8 LAN cables. It has a robust extruder group of four with high-precision gas dosing. Notable highlights include the cooling section and the automatic take-up station, engineered to handle speeds of up to 2,500 m/min.

“We are excited to advance our research and development with these new laboratory lines and extend our infrastructure to our customers and partners,” said Johann Jäkel, Business Unit Director. “The trials on the lab equipment will help improve product quality and increase operational efficiency. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved and further strengthens the strategic partnership with our customers.”

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Last modified on February 4, 2024

Morgan-Koch Corporation announced that it has been chosen by GMP-Slovakia to represent it in North America.

A press release said that Morgan-Koch Corporation will represent GMP Slovakia’s product lines, which include steel reels and cable drums, take-apart reels and handling equipment. Founded in 2003, GMP Slovakia develops and manufactures steel reels, collapsible reels and reel handling equipment for the wire and cable industry. The company has two manufacturing plants and has long worked closely with key machinery manufacturers.

GMP Slovakia’s steel reels are suitable for drawing, bunching and stranding steel, copper or aluminum wires and its metal cable drums are used for cable and rope process or transportation. The size and dimensions of each steel reel can be customized according to customer needs. Its range of products also includes baskets, pallets and customized solutions all designed with 3D graphic system, as well as reparation service of used steel cable reels.

 “We welcome GMP Slovakia into our group of high-quality suppliers to the wire and cable industry,” said Albert Kozlowski, vice president/general manager of Morgan-Koch.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

Ducab Group, one of the UAE’s largest industrial manufacturing businesses & solution providers, has been awarded to supply overhead conductors for a 288 KM OHL (Over Head Line) project as part of a GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business electrification project in Iraq.

A press release said that the project complements Iraq’s larger energy transition plan, moving the nation into a regional energy hub through smart and sustainable grid infrastructure. The Ducab Group participated in the GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business tender for the design, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of 400 kV overhead transmission lines interconnecting Jordan and Qaim area in Iraq. This is being done in connection with a re-enforcement program for EPC, and the supply of substations and transmission lines (132 kV/400 kV) turnkey projects.

“Our products and services have a direct impact on communities, industries and nations,” said Ducab Group CRO Mohammad A. Almutawa. “By supplying energy solutions to the Iraq power project, we can help ensure a reliable power supply to Iraq and aim to support the country in achieving its socio-economic objectives.”

The release noted the challenges matching electricity supply with demand. In 2019, for example, analysts estimated that peak demand was 26 GW, 58% higher than generation capacity. GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business signed a contract with the Ministry of Electricity in Iraq to support these shortcomings, bringing in Ducab as a key supplier on the project.

 “The association with Ducab for this strategic project is further promoting Ducab’s products and the strength of the ‘Make it in the Emirates’ brand,” the release said.

Last modified on February 4, 2024

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