And so it begins.

The South Africa patent office has listed an algorithm as the inventor of something. This is the first time that AI has been listed as the inventor in a patent application anywhere in the world. The ‘something’ in question are some rather special food containers that lock together in an efficient way whilst being easy for robots to manipulate. That does not matter. It might have been for a new mousetrap. The point is that an AI has taken a position, or a status, reserved hitherto only to humans. Sooner or later, we will be granting AIs other privileges currently reserved for humans. It might start as something simple like the right to sign for a parcel delivery. The more that we delegate to them, the more that we are sharing our hitherto unique nature. There will come a point when they are to all intents and purposes our equivalents – the Age of Equivalence, coming to a world near you.

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