United Nations, Feb 1: The “upsurge” in patent applications for devices and machines powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the last five years, suggests that it could soon revolutionise all areas of daily life far beyond the tech world, a UN report stated.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Technology Trends report, 50 per cent of all patents for AI – the replication of human intelligence by machines for use in industries such as transport and healthcare, for instance – have been published since 2013, adding up to more than 170,000 different patented ideas.
This followed on from an initial boom in AI scientific publications, which began in 2001.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry told journalists in Geneva the surge in patenting was “striking”, noting that AI research began in the 1950s. “But there has been a quantum leap since about 2013, so we’re dealing with what is happening right now in a very fast-moving field,” he insisted.
By number, patent applications for machine learning, indicate that this is currently the dominant application of AI; think of apps that include ride-sharing services to minimise detours.
The fastest-growing AI area is “deep learning”, however, which is used in speech recognition.
This saw a 175-per cent annual increase in patent applications from 2013 to 2016, far in excess of the 33 per cent average for all patents in the same period. (UNI)