Protecting Creativity by Artificial Intelligence: Part 1

January 23, 2019
Post by Kirk M. Hartung

Artificial intelligence has progressed to a state where, based upon software and algorithms written by humans, the computer itself can solve problems and discover new and better ways to accomplish desired results. Artificial intelligence is being used in many industries, including agriculture, education, manufacturing, and medicine. The inventions and creations of the computer itself, rather than a human, has huge potential for benefiting people in all walks of life. However, the decades-old patent and copyright laws may not currently be sufficient, or applicable, for this new creativity by non-humans.

"Artificial intelligence" was coined by John McCarthy, an American computer scientist, in 1956. Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is generally understood to mean intelligence by machines which mimic cognitive human functions, such as learning and problem-solving. More specifically, AI is a field of computer science, including such things as machine learning, natural language processing, speech processing, expert systems, robotics, and machine vision. Experts speculate that AI worldwide revenues will grow from approximately 8 billion in 2016 to 47 billion in 2020, and as much as 15 trillion by 2040. Thus, there is tremendous value in protecting AI inventions and creations. The next post in this blog series will focus on protection form AI generated inventions, with a separate post directed to protection of AI creations.

Kirk Hartung is Chair of the Mechanical Patent Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information please visit or contact Kirk directly via email at

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