The recent explosion in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has led to advances in many key areas of technology. From manufacture to medicine, and many other areas in between, it seems like AI is touching all areas of development. I am pleased to report that the growth of AI technology has reached a kitchen appliance close to all our hearts, the humble toaster.
A patent application for an AI powered toaster which gets the perfect level of browning each time has now been granted by the UKIPO (Intellectual Property Office - Patent document and information service (Ipsum) (ipo.gov.uk)). The toaster analyses image pairs, using a neural network, to compare the bread prior to toasting to its appearance during the toasting process. This allows the toaster to estimate a current browning level of the toast and eject it from the toaster at the perfect time. The inventor is fortunate enough to have forgotten what burnt toast is due to this new technology.
The advances in AI have led to complex legal questions as to how the patent system can handle AI created and driven technologies. The grant of this patent shows that, fortunately, there is potential to protect such inventions. With his newly granted protection, hopefully the proprietor of this patent will be better placed to exploit his toaster and bring it to the market to improve the quality of toast experienced by all of us.
Hopefully, one day we will all be able to say that we have forgotten what burnt toast is.
I’ve forgotten what burnt toast is. It just hasn’t happened