If a human uses artificial intelligence to invent something, should the invention be patentable?

If a driverless car injures a pedestrian, should the AI driver be held to a negligence standard as humans would? Or should courts apply the strict liability used for product defects?

What if AI steals money from a bank account? Should it be held to the same standard as a human under criminal law?

All interesting questions and the subject of a book called the Reasonable Robot by this episode’s guest Ryan Abbott.

In the book, Abbott argues that laws should be AI neutral and that the acts of artificial intelligence should not be judged differently than humans’. He calls this a “reasonable robot” standard.

The book posits that inventions created by AI should be entitled to protection under intellectual property laws and, if AI causes harm, maybe it too should be judged under the same standard as a human.

Abbott argues further that if AI is treated differently under the law, it may hamper innovation.

Ryan is not often idle. He has dual degrees in medicine and law. He has practiced both and also worked in  bio-pharmaceuticals. He moved into IP law, and nowadays, even though he still practices, he is a professor. He teaches at the UCLA Medical School. 

He is also a mediator and arbitrator and Co-Chair of the AI Subcommittee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).

Learn more about Ryan.

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Episode Credits

Editing and Production: Grant Blackstock

Theme Music: Home Base (Instrumental Version) by TA2MI



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