• Google’s decision to patent could lead to an arms race where other companies and institutions race to patent every idea that they’ve developed.
  • It is possible that Google has just patented the ideas so that it can protect them - i.e. to stop other more evil companies from patenting them and extracting fees from open source implementations of machine learning libraries. Even if this is the case, open source libraries are often purged of non-free routines and this makes life significantly harder for researchers.
  • Google needs to clarify the position but even if it does there is no way to make sure it doesn't exercise its patent rights are a later date. The source of the problem is the whole US patent system with its "first to file is the inventor" policy.

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