Of the above said techniques, machine learning has been the most applied technique in inventions going in for patenting. Nearly 70 percent of inventions recite an AI technique, application or field working in correlation with one another. The commonly used combinations in patent applications are deep learning with computer vision, computer vision with transportation, telecommunication and security; ontology engineering with natural language processing (NLP); and machine learning with life and medical sciences. These combinations suggest areas to watch for rapid developments in AI in the near future.
Some of the functional applications of AI include computer vision which is by far the most popular with image recognition as its subset, and the other functional areas being natural language processing (NLP), and speech processing. Recent trends have shown a maximum growth rate in patent filings in the area of computer vision in 2016.
The objective of this study is to showcase the trends in AI technology in order to discover which companies/key players and what institutions are leading AI development, and the target locations of future growth markets in this domain.
On analysis of patent filing trends worldwide, it has been found that IBM leads the portfolio of AI patents where the focus of patents is natural language processing and the second top most company is Microsoft, followed by companies such as Samsung, Toshiba and NEC. It is a clear indication that these top five applicants own the maximum amount of data, as artificial intelligence is all about data.
In terms of top institutions/organizations, however, China ranks first in the list. Seventeen out of the top 20 institutions among universities and public research organizations in AI patenting are from China, as well as 10 of the top 20 in AI-related scientific publications. Chinese institutions are particularly strong in the emerging technique of deep learning. The top applicant is the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), with over 2,500 patent families and over 20,000 scientific papers published on AI. Moreover, CAS also possesses the largest deep learning portfolio as well.
Another study is a country comparison of patent filings in the United States, Europe and India.
As illustrated below, the number of patent filings and patents granted in 2018-2019 has almost doubled in the US and Europe, where the major filers such as IBM and Microsoft have put their applications before respective patent offices.