On Thursday, September 24, 2020, The Law and Technology Institute (LTI) hosted a virtual event—inviting students and guests to attend “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Innovation” with Laura A. Peter, Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Dean Stephen C. Payne opened the event by welcoming attendees and the evening’s guest speaker. After a few words from the dean, Meaghan Donahue (2L), Vice-President of the Law and Technology Association (LTSA), introduced Professor Megan La Belle as the program’s moderator and Deputy Director Peter.
La Belle started the program by asking attendees to complete two poll questions regarding the daily use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). La Belle then posed a series of questions to Deputy Director Peter about her career, the intersection between intellectual property and AI, and the USPTO's role in AI policy going forward.
Deputy Director Peter shared industry insight on authorship and copyright issues, international policy (particularly in comparison to the United States), and processes within the USPTO. Deputy Director Peter was particularly eager to discuss the importance of representation within the innovation industry. She said, “Thinking about the future of the agency and its importance in communicating how we can stay engaged and pull more people into the innovation ecosphere [...] I believe that we need to bring all underrepresented groups, more into the innovation ecosphere—including women and people of color, and other underrepresented and minority groups. So, I think the USPTO can really push that message forward." Deputy Director Peter continued, “Last week we held our inaugural meeting of the National Council for Expanding Innovation, and it was just so exciting.”
As the program drew to a close, Deputy Director Peter answered questions from attendees and further addressed the role of the USPTO and the direction of AI.