AI News Roundup – USPTO’s Request for Comment, biopharma companies ban ChatGPT, OpenAI’s memory feature, and more

Article co-written by Yuri Levin-Schwartz, Ph.D., a law clerk at MBHB.

To help you stay on top of the latest news, our AI practice group has compiled a roundup of the developments we are following.


    • The USPTO has published a Request for Comments (RFC) regarding the impact of AI technologies on patentability determinations, including what qualifies as prior art and the assessment of the level of skill of a person having ordinary skill in the art (PHOSITA). Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, said in a statement that the RFC “builds on our inventorship guidance, which carefully set forth when the USPTO will issue a patent for AI-assisted innovations, and our continuing policy work at the intersection of AI and all forms of IP.” Comments are due by July 29, 2024.
    • The Financial Times did a deep-dive into OpenAI’s Sora video-generation model, which has yet to be released to the public. The FT interviewed several filmmakers and animators to get their feedback on various Sora-generated videos, including one of children playing and another of animated flamingos on a beach. One interviewee said that the video “has that slight morphy quality that AI-generated work has, which I don’t think makes it client-ready yet, but that’s something that will get smoothed out.” Another, after viewing a generated video of a city with a couple speaking and walking, commended the technology, saying that “we will eventually reach a point where this is an incredibly powerful tool for creators, inevitably eliminating the use of other tools. Sora will seriously challenge stock websites and the role of actors, both of which we use now.”
    • Fierce Pharma reports that over half of biopharma companies have banned employees from using OpenAI’s ChatGPT generative AI tool, according to a recent survey from ZoomRx. Many respondents expressed concerns that sensitive internal data input into the model could be leaked to competitors. However, respondents were also optimistic about ChatGPT’s use in the workplace, with 64% citing cost-savings as a motivation for implementing AI technologies at their companies.
    • Microsoft has updated the code of conduct of its cloud service Azure to forbid the use of its facial-recognition offerings by or for “any law enforcement globally,” according to a new report by Quartz. The use of AI technologies by law enforcement agencies has long been controversial, with many critics pointing to privacy and racial equity issues that have often come along with it. A 2022 Brookings Institution paper on the topic stated that “when disparate accuracy rates in facial recognition technology intersect with the effects of bias in certain policing practices, Black and other people of color are at greater risk of misidentification for a crime that they have no affiliation with.”
    • OpenAI has recently begun to roll out its memory feature to ChatGPT users. This capability, first unveiled in February, allows ChatGPT to carry over information it learns between chat sessions, and generally learn the tendencies and user preferences. Users may also tell ChatGPT to “forget” certain items of information it has learned or disable the memory feature altogether.