The Inventor Behind a Rush of AI Copyright Suits Is Trying to Show His Bot Is Sentient

Stephen Thaler’s series of high-profile copyright cases has made headlines worldwide. He’s done it to demonstrate his AI is capable of independent thought.

“A Recent Entrance to Paradise” is a pixelated pastoral scene of train tracks running under a moss-flecked bridge. It was, according to its creator’s creator, drawn and named in 2012 by an artificial intelligence called DABUS (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience). But earlier this month, a federal judge in the US decided that Stephen Thaler, DABUS’s inventor who listed his AI system as the artwork’s creator, can’t claim the copyright for the work. Thaler is appealing the decision.

Thaler, a Missouri-based inventor and AI researcher, has become something of a serial litigant on behalf of DABUS. Judges have swatted away similar lawsuits in the European Union, the United States, and, eventually, on appeal, in Australia. In the UK, the Supreme Court is currently deliberating over his attempts to be granted a pair of patents for a “neural frame” and “fractal container” that Thaler says DABUS invented.

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