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“But we have been inspired by what our alumni have achieved from our previous renewable energy cohorts, and we wanted to build a program that covered all areas of corporate climate action in order to help those people who want to push their company to do more,” Ms Piper said. Previous cohorts haveworked ina range of professions from engineering to banking, and as a result of the course, have been successful in creating change within their organisations. “We have seen professionals who have been galvanised into action on climate change – they feel helpless, hopeless even – but when they have a roadmap and a network of support they are able to lead extraordinary change,” she added. The curriculum has been designed to give employees both the technical and soft skills required to become influential corporate climate leaders, with in-depth workshops and tutorials covering - Why corporations are key to tackling the climate crisis, Building momentum in your organisation, Energy: Switching to 100% renewable, Emissions: Developing a meaningful climate program, Money: Aligning investments with a safe climate future, Advocacy: Using influence to shape policy and drive change, Developing your climate voice and Drawing your roadmap and plan of action. For more information, visit www.workforclimate.org. WHEN AI IS THE INVENTOR - WHO GETS THE PATENT? The day is coming – some say has already arrived – when artificial intelligence invents things that humans could not. It’s not surprising these days to see new inventions that either incorporate or have benefitted from artificial intelligence (AI) in some way, but what about inventions dreamt up byAI –dowe award a patent to amachine? This is the quandary facing lawmakers with a live test case in the works that its supporters say is the first true example of anAI systemnamed as the sole inventor. In commentary published in the journal Nature, two leading academics from UNSW Sydney examined the implications of patents being awarded to an AI entity. Intellectual Property (IP) lawspecialistAssociateProfessor Alexandra George and AI expert, Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor Toby Walsh argue that patent law as it stands is inadequate to deal with such cases and requires legislators to amend laws around IP and patents . The current case revolves around a machine called DABUS (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience) created by Dr Stephen Thaler, who is president and chief executive of US-based AI firm Imagination Engines. Dr Thaler has named DABUS as the inventor of two products – a food container with a fractal surface that helps with insulation and stacking, and a flashing light for attracting attention in emergencies. For a short time in Australia, DABUS looked like it might be recognised as the inventor because, in late July 2021, a trial judge accepted Dr Thaler’s appeal against IP Australia’s rejection of the patent application fivemonthsearlier.ButaftertheCommissioner of Patents appealed the decision to the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia, the five-judge panel upheld the appeal, agreeing with the Commissioner that an AI system couldn’t be named the inventor. Associate Professor George said the attempt to have DABUS awarded a patent for the two inventions instantly creates challenges for existing laws which has only ever considered humans or entities comprised of humans as inventors and patent-holders. “Even if we do accept that an AI system is the true inventor, the first big problem is ownership. How do you work out who the owner is? An owner needs to be a legal person, and an AI is not recognised as a legal person,” she said. “Another problem with ownership when it comes to AI-conceived inventions, is even if you could transfer ownership from the AI inventor to a person: is it the original software writer of the AI? Is it a personwho has bought the AI and trained it for their own purposes? Or is it the people whose copyrightedmaterial has been fed into theAI to give it all that information?” asks Associate Professor. George. Prof. Walsh said what makes AI systems so different to humans is their capacity to learn and store so much more information than an expert ever could. One of the requirements of inventions and patents is that the product or idea is novel, not obvious and is useful. “There are certain assumptions built into the law that an invention should not be obvious to a knowledgeable person in the field,” Prof.Walsh said. “Well, what might be obvious to an AI won’t be obvious to a humanbecauseAImight have ingested all the human knowledge on this topic, way more than a human could, so the nature of what is obvious changes.” He said this isn’t the first time that AI has been instrumental in coming up with new inventions. In the area of drug development, a new antibiotic was created in 2019 – Halicin – that used deep learning to find a chemical compound that was effective against drugresistant strains of bacteria. “Halicin was originally meant to treat diabetes, but its effectiveness as an antibiotic was only discovered by AI that was directed to examine a vast catalogue of drugs that could be repurposed as antibiotics. So there’s a mixture of human and machine coming into this discovery.” Prof.Walsh said in the case ofDABUS, it’s not entirely clear whether the system is truly responsible for the inventions. “There’s lots of involvement of Dr Thaler in these inventions, first in setting up the problem, then guiding the search for the solution to the problem, and then interpreting the result,” he said. “But it's certainly the case that without the system, you wouldn't have come up with the inventions.” Both authors argue that governing bodies around the world will need to modernise the legal structures that determine whether or not AI systems can be awarded IP protection. They recommend the introduction of a new ‘sui generis’ form of IP law – which they’ve dubbed ‘AI-IP’ – that would be specifically tailored to the circumstances of AI-generated inventiveness. This, they argue, would bemore effective than trying to retrofit and shoehorn AI-inventiveness into existing patent laws. NEWS Lucy Piper, Director, WorkForClimate 10 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | JULY - AUGUST 2022