Recently I’ve been contemplating a number of potential directions for creating a start-up based on application of OpenCog to a problem or field.
One evening, I had an interesting discussion in bed with my partner that was related to licensing such technology. OpenCog is open source, which is my personal preference for the development of AGI, even if the jury on whether it’s beneficial or needless reckless is still out. As open source software, it means that if we sold expert systems based on OpenCog to end-users, we’d have to also provide the source. Even though we can license it under different terms from SIAI, this isn’t entirely needed since my current viewpoint is that the real value will be in data within the system.
As an analogy, the biological design for the brain isn’t what makes us unique or what encompasses our knowledge and experience of the world. The pattern that’s formed during our childhood and education is what is really valuable, otherwise we’d make no distinction between twins and not particularly care if one twin passed away.
So, the digital mind’s pattern would be the important part that we’d license or sell. However dealing with a dynamic system makes that interesting, since the pattern that was sold/licensed would inevitably change. Learning software could well have the valuable part (the “identity” if you will) morph and change beyond the original deployment. In fact, the software could learn new things which makes the individual deployment “smarter” than the original or any other deployment.
In that case, who owns those improvements? Should we get
the rights, since it was our software that altered itself, or does it belong to the license-holder since the AI learnt the improvement in their environment?
I’m sure with sufficiently rigorous legal-work one could protect towards one view over another, but I’m more interested in what seems right.