In July, South Africa granted a patent to an invention created by an artificial intelligence (AI) system, rather than a human being.

It was a world’s first in an industry that has been hostile to robo-inventors. For example, in 2020 in the U.S. an AI system was refused the right to two patents, with the ruling judge saying only “natural persons” could be inventors.

The invention given the greenlight last month has been described as mechanism that interlocks food containers based on fractural geometry that are easy for robots to grasp and stack.