The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published recently its first report in a new flagship series: WIPO Technology Trends, this first edition features Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the theme.
The main insights and trends in AI techniques and application fields, and patenting activity are summarized below.
AI-related inventions are booming, shifting from theory to commercial application:
Since AI emerged in the 1950s, innovators and researchers have filed nearly 340.000 patent applications and published over 1.6 million scientific publications.
Notably, AI-related patenting is growing rapidly: over half of the identified inventions have been published since 2013.
Some areas of AI are growing more quickly than others:
Machine learning is the dominant AI technique disclosed in patents and is included in more than one-third of all identified inventions (134.777 patent documents).
The machine learning techniques revolutionizing AI are deep learning and neural networks, and these are the fastest growing AI techniques in terms of patent filings.
Among AI functional applications, computer vision, which includes image recognition, is the most popular, followed by AI for robotics and control methods.
Many AI patents include inventions that can be applied in different industries:
AI-related patents not only …Read More
The interaction of Personal Data Protection and Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes particularly interesting when issues arise from the use of personal data with AI.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union (EU), which entered into force on 25 May 2018, aims to give control to citizens of and residents in the EU over their personal data.
Regarding AI, in particular, GDPR aims to create transparency rights and safeguards against automated decision-making, meaning decisions that are made by machines when personal data is used.
In essence, GDPR states that:
When companies collect personal data, they have to say what it will be used for, and not use it for anything else.
Companies are supposed to minimize the amount of personal data they collect and keep, limiting it to what is strictly necessary for those purposes stated. They also are supposed to put limits on how long they hold that data, too.
In short, companies must tell people what data they hold on them, and what’s being done with it.
Companies should be able to alter or get rid of people’s personal data if requested.
If personal data is used to …Read More
The three levels of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be defined as follows:
- Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) refers to a computer´s ability to perform a specific (single) task.
- Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) which is capable of transferring knowledge from one domain to a new domain, e.g. when a computer program can perform the same intellectual task as a human being.
- Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) which is theoretically capable of surpassing human intellect.
Today, most experts would agree that we are seeing tangible results from ANI only. AGI is at least two decades away from being perfected (only scientific studies but no more), and ASI is even farther off (still kind of science fiction).
There is a diffused sentiment that the trend is that software will widely become AI, which in turn will become “Super Software” implemented everywhere, in every field of technology, well beyond ICT.
Key elements to be considered when drafting/prosecuting a patent application in the field of AI are the following:
- The technical effect(s) of the invention should be explicitly defined by means of technical features.
- The AI invention must be a technically implemented.
- The AI invention must be applied to a
The potential of Artificial intelligence is enormous. The interconnection of A.I. and art is a relatively less explored field, but in this regard the consequences for intellectual protection law are unpredictable and equally interesting.
In 2016, a network of Dutch museums presented a portrait created by a computer that analysed hundreds of Rembrandt paintings, to finally produce a new artwork in the style of the Dutch artist and that looks exactly as if it had been made by Rembrandt himself.
In the same year, a computer software wrote a brief novel that was admitted into a literary prize in Japan, although it didn’t make it to the final round.
Deep Mind, a Google company, has developed a program that creates original new music by listening to old recordings. The first computer-generated musical debuted in London as early as 2015.
While bots have been present in the creation of work of arts since the 1970s, the difference with modern A.I. lies in the fact that, in the past, the human programmer still had a relevant creative input and the machine merely executed, or reproduced his ideas adding an element of randomness. Today, evolved A.I. …Read More
The European Patent Office (EPO) held on 30 May 2018 a conference on Patenting Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Koen Lievens, Director Operations at the EPO, presented as keynote speaker the topic “How does the EPO deal with the challenges of AI in patents”.
The key concepts are the following:
Computer-Implemented Inventions would also apply to the inventions relating to AI, therefore to examine AI inventions the EPO two-hurdle approach should be used.
Are AI and Machine Learning (ML) just mathematical methods?
According to Articles 52 (2) and (3) EPC, mathematical methods as such are considered non-inventions and therefore not patentable.
Algorithms used for the purpose of, among other things, classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction would be mathematical method as such and therefore not patentable subject-matter.
Algorithms applied, among other things, to data of technical nature, parameters of technical nature and trainable based on training data would not be considered mathematical method as such and therefore would not be excluded from patentability according to Articles 52 (2) and (3) EPC.
To overcome the second hurdle the mathematical method (steps) should contribute to the technical character of the invention.
There are two dimensions to contribute …Read More