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January 31, 2022

Comment: Is It Necessary To Grant Legal Personhood To AI To Promote AI Made Innovations/Creations?

Author: Intern - Gayathri Devi P

As per the current IP regime worldwide including India, inventorship (or authorship) in case of Artificial Intelligence (AI) made inventions (or creations) vests with its inventor (or creator). Claims have been made in several countries to name AI as the inventor of inventions that are made by AI without any human intervention. This would logically require granting artificial legal personhood to AI and amending IP laws across countries including India. As like other legal entities, granting artificial legal personhood to AI results in bestowing it with legal rights and obligations. In the context of IP, the legal right confers the inventor an exclusive right for a fixed period of time that prevents others from using his invention without his consent. This allows the inventor to make returns on his invention which creates incentives for promoting further innovation (or creation). However, in my opinion, granting artificial legal personhood status to AI, which makes them eligible for inventorship status, is not necessary to further innovation, as AI systems are unreceptiveto any incentives created.

In order for an incentive to be a stimulus for further innovation, the entity which possesses the inventorship status must be receptive to the incentive that is created. Unlike other artificial legal entities like corporations, the incentives created by way of granting inventorship status for AI made inventions, can be realized by only their creator(or operator) due to the nature of complexities involved in financial operation of the AI.

While corporations function financially independent of its members, no matter the level of technological sophistication achieved by AI, it is still a product of humanswho oversee its financial aspects. For example, the costs incurred during the development, and marketing of AI made inventions are borne by its owner as AI is incapable of bankrolling these investments by itself. The returns enabled by way of grant of IPR have also to be handled by its owner due to its incapacity to operate independently.

Thus, even after the AI attains inventorship status, it still has to be controlled by humans. This means that the financial incentives will also be realized by its owner, which is anyway the case if the owner of the AI is made the inventor for the AI made invention. Therefore, in my opinion, granting inventorship to AI systems by recognizing them as artificial legal persons for the purpose of furthering AI made innovation is superfluous and unnecessary as the incentives created either way will only be realized by the owner of the AI.

Disclaimer: Views, opinions, interpretations are solely those of the author, not of the firm (ALG India Law Offices LLP) nor reflective thereof. Author submissions are not checked for plagiarism or any other aspect before being posted.

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