A Speculated Future of Artificial Intelligence and IPR

We are living in a Digital Age. Information Technology tools are in use inevitably for most of the things we do as a part of our daily activity. Our ears most of the times hear the buzzwords like Cloud Computing, Data Piracy, E-governance, Digital Literacy, Social Networking etc. Some of us become confused when we come across the phrases like Data Mining, Advanced Robotics, Machine Learning, Virtual Assistants, Statistical Modeling, Neural Networks etc. These phrases reflect the future stage of information technology. But the thing which is the basis for future and in any case would not be inevitable is the Artificial Intelligence or AI in short. This thing now exists both in the fictional world as well as the real world.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become near reality and it has widespread application apart from the aforementioned three systems. Robots and Software possessing ability close to artificial intelligence are a reality. Still, the following questions have not been answered concretely. What kind of Intellectual Property Protection should be granted to Artificial Intelligence Systems themselves? Whether the current models of copyright, patent, and trademark are sufficient or we need to proceed with the creation of a sui generis model? Suppose if an artificially intelligent software or system invents or creates something, who will be the owner of such “artificial creation”? What kind of rights and liabilities will be associated with them? What if a system is hacked by AI? What if the AI violates the privacy rights of the human beings? What if a large amount of data can be manipulated by AI in a very short time resulting in a great loss to humans?  Let’s try to have an idea regarding the same.

Generally, computer programs and software are protected under the copyright laws. As far as AI field is concerned, they are not just mere computer programs and their behavior is far better and complex as compared to the ordinary software. Therefore, copyright regime is not enough to protect Artificial Intelligence. Further speculation might reveal that if copyright is not enough then why not grant patent rights to them. Even if patents are granted to software, the patent regime will not be enough to accommodate changes which are being brought by AI. The reason is the ownership issue. The main issue with respect to the Artificial Intelligence is the ownership of AI produced creation. The issue has to be answered taking into account various aspects. But prima facie the patent regime will fail since it only provided ownership right to humans and not machines or AI. Even if it grants such rights to machines by a simple amendment, would it suffice. Well, it’s better to leave that question as a question for now.

Artificial Intelligence is coming for your jobs – A general phrase which is found in most of the places in the present era. It is an obvious fact which finds its truth in the example of IBM Watson. Since the invention of IBM Watson, the number of patents filed by IBM has increased. Hence, AI is already among us. It is the need of the hour to set up the legal boundaries related to Artificial Intelligence so that the number of problems arising in future related to AI should reduce in number. AI will be capable of doing the things at a larger speed and accuracy as compared to human beings. So, it is necessary to set up the rights and liabilities associated with AI. Artificial Intelligence cannot be allowed to do anything as they want since it may hamper the rights of the other humans and AI themselves. In the age of AI, cyber crimes will increase at an alarming rate if we do not put a cap on the abilities of AI to perform task. The rate at which the research is going on in the field of Artificial Intelligence is always increasing. Therefore, something should be done in this regard as soon as possible in order to set up a peaceful future for all. The current IP regime of patent and copyright fails to accommodate the AI and the changes being brought with it. Consequently, we should try to prepare as sui generis system for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights with respect to Artificial Intelligence.

Image source: Google

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