Back in 1955, John McCarthy coined the term “artificial intelligence” to represent the science of developing intelligent machines. The following year, McCarthy established AI as a field when he organized the Dartmouth Conference to operate under the “conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of [human] intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.” While AI as a term and science may not be new, certain legal issues surrounding the patenting of AI inventions certainly is at its infancy.

What are “AI Inventions”?

The term AI inventions is an umbrella that covers two categories: inventions that utilize AI and inventions that are created by AI. The first category—inventions that utilize AI—broadly covers inventions of software and/or hardware used to run the AI. These inventions relate to AI algorithms, collection, storage, and use of training data (i.e., input data into the AI), hardware used to execute the AI algorithms or operate with training data, and applications of AI (i.e., uses for the data output by AI). In short, inventions that utilize AI “include anything under the sun that is made by man,” subject to exclusions for laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas, of course.

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