AI Inventors and More in New Issue of Bar News

Digital brain graphic on cover of BarNews April-May 2022

What does AI (artificial intelligence) think about the prospect of AI? Well, according to an AI text generator, which responded to bits of text from Washington State Bar News Editor Kirsten Abel, our technological future is, at best, ominous:

“In 2015, worldwide spending on AI was $2.2 billion, a staggering sum, but now it’s on the way to $50 billion, predicts IDC (International Data Corporation). Indeed, it’s as if we have already entered an era of omnipresent artificial intelligence. One cannot hope to escape it.”

From a legal standpoint, however, AI will have a hard time getting past patent office red tape on its way to omnipresence. According to Leron Vandsburger’s assessment in the new issue of Bar News, AI systems have reached beyond their rudimentary beginnings “to a creative domain that—if practiced by a human—would be worthy of interpretation, analysis, examination, or critique.” The problem, however, is that copyright laws in many places don’t recognize non-human inventors.

“Efforts at getting substantive review of artificially created works in the patent context have been blocked in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom for lack of a natural person to name as an inventor,” Vandsburger explains as he dives into the technical aspects of AI-created intellectual property and how laws in the U.S. and elsewhere deal with such creations.

The new issue of the WSBA’s member magazine also features a variety of content focused on the world of flesh-and-blood humans.

Legislative Affairs Manager Sanjay Walvekar provides a look back at the 2022 Washington legislative session, during which the WSBA helped move forward a Bar-request legislative proposal and referred and tracked nearly 300 bills for WSBA Sections. Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven C. González and Seattle-based author Sheila Farr detail the previously forgotten history of portraits that hang in the Temple of Justice. Michelle Fukawa, a member of the WSBA Diversity Committee, gives an overview of the Racial Justice Consortium, which “was established in an effort to support the various responses to the Supreme Court’s invitation to take specific and concrete steps to eradicate racism, especially the devaluing of Black lives.” In a Q&A with Korean American Bar Association (KABA) Immediate Past-President Ron Park, he explains how KABA got started, what it does, and much more.

And, as always, this issue of Bar News features a variety of insights and helpful information from our regular columnists on topics ranging from ethics to the Bar’s latest financial report.