I've been a mod here for a long-*ss time, and this question has come up a lot.
I consult with attorneys on such subjects, work in the field currently, and have come to understand the mechanics of law.
- Algorithmic patents are such a specialized area, SE:Law may not have that niche expertise
As an example, I successfully argued to the US patent board that a games are a form of computation, and therefore machines. At that time, most patent attorneys were advising that, post-Alice, game mechanics were no longer patentable. The good attorneys advised that "nobody knows".
- Use of public data for datasets is a specialized and novel area of copyright law
The limitations of copyright for code are well understood (only that specific expression, not other methods of completing the task), but we've only had strong NNs for a half-decade, and the internet for less than 50 years.
- This is a new area of law, specific to the AI field, and should be on-topic here
Nobody knows the answer to these questions in most cases, because it's a matter of precedent, current legal climate, and true intent of the laws (material effect.)
There may even be cases in the AI field where a researcher creates a useful function and should be able to benefit, which does require patent. Patents have been a staple of enginering fields for centuries. They are the only intellectual property protection engineers have.
- There area other newly defined domains of law specific to AI
Facial recognition, as an example. Privacy takes on a whole new meaning when you have narrow artificial super-intelligence.
- AI law constitutes a unique subfield, and should be on topic here
I'm actually thinking about this area of law for a future career, b/c it's interesting, and SE:AI is the forum I'd want to come to, because it's here I'm going to learn what is relevant, common, and on the horizon. I'd want to answer AI law questions here, not on the general law forum.
There are so many dimensions including:
- AI personhood is a hypothetical social and legal question, and the legal aspect has much greater material effect.
Someone already tried to claim a genetic algorithm as an inventor to the patent board, which was rejected b/c the algorithm isn't a "natural person".
So I kind of feel like some aspects of law are already on-topic.