Local Robots may Invent or Create
Will Intelligent Robots have the right to own Patents or obtain Copyright Protection?
Let us build on the last concept and ask when a robot has the ability to come up with new concepts, will the ownership
of these new ideas belong to the robot? Will the robot be able to copyright his creations or patent his ideas? When
computers are manufactured, the specific design may cost many dollars and involve the use of designers and mold
makers. The stamping and shaping dies for the case for a laptop computer, for example, might cost thousands of
dollars to manufacture. Such expenses are incurred only because the manufacturer plans to make many thousands of
Laptops of that design.
In a similar manner, the creation of android computers in the future may involve the creation of stamping and shaping
dies costing many tens of thousands of dollars. Such expenses imply that the manufacturer will be making many almost
identical robots of that particular design.
Now consider again the patent and ownership question. Two identical robots are ordered on the same day and the
recipients of these robots open up their delivery containers on the same minute of the same hour of the same day.
They each ask their new robots the same question at the same time. They ask their robots to disassemble a Lithium
Ion battery and analyze how it works. They then ask the robot to create a means for improving the battery's storage
capacity by a factor of ten. Let us say that such a problem is difficult and requires the robots to search the web for
information as well as review the fundamental physics of each potential element that might be used and each potential
fabrication technique which has been developed. Since the robots are identical and were asked identical questions by
Joe and Jim, as we would expect, the robots both come up with identical answers. Jim and Joe file patents
simultaneously. Would the patent go to the person whose mail arrived first at the Patent Office? Is that fair? Did the
person who ordered the robot deserve a patent merely for asking the robot a question? Is the concept of humans
owning patents rapidly becoming a concept in need of complete revision?