The UN announced on Thursday that patent applications for innovation based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) they have grown exponentially in recent years, to the extent that more than half of them have been registered since 2013.
According to new World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) data, this recent mass increase indicates that these technologies have taken a huge step outside the strict theoretical range.
"Since 2013 there has been a big" quantum leap ", Said WIPO Director General Francis Gary to reporters in Geneva.
"The patenting activity in artificial intelligence is progressing at a rapid pace, from which it is expected to produce a very important number of new AI-based products, applications and techniques that will transform our daily work and that they will determine how they will relate to the machines we believe in, "he added in a statement.
Artificial intelligence is a key element of many computer products manufactured by high-tech companies and institutions in the United States, Japan and China, which includes mobile phones, wireless speakers and cars without a driver. Artificial intelligence can also be used in applications for military and health purposes.
In this first report, entitled "Technical Trends", WIPO reports that about 340,000 patent applications related to Artificial Intelligence (PI) have been submitted since this terminology was invented in 1956, and more than half of them were from 2013. About 1.6 million articles on this subject were also published.
This study is based on data from 2016, but Garry says there is no reason to believe that this astronomical increase in these applications has not continued since then. "I doubt that it is decreasing", he claims.
The UN High Representative noted that it is not for WIPO to assess whether these new technologies are good or bad, since the agency's role is to provide as many empirical data as possible to provide "inputs" to the important and necessary discussions on AI and its social implications.
"The AI's differences on the future of human development are far-reaching. The first step in maximizing the broad benefits of AI, and at the same time addressing ethical, legal and regulatory challenges is to create a common factual basis for understanding artificial intelligence," Gurri said .
Adding: "By presenting the first study of the" Technical Trends "series, WIPO (…) provides projections based on empirical data and thus contributes to the formulation of global policies for the future of AI, its governance and IP framework at which is based, "adds the CEO.
According to the UN study, patent applications related to AI account for approximately 0.6% of all, but this percentage is expected to increase.
The same report also reveals that 26 of the 30 leading patent applicants in the AI field are companies, and the other four are universities or public research organizations.
IBM has the largest portfolio of patent applications in the AI field, with 8,290 at the end of 2016, followed by Microsoft with 5,930. The following are Toshiba (5,223), Samsung (5.102) and NEC (4,406).
As for China, there are 17 of the top 20 universities that filed patent applications in the domain of AI and 10 out of 20 scientific publications related to it.
Among the main achievements made by the IA, WIPO emphasizes: "Machine learning, especially the neural networks that revolutionized the machine translation, is the main AI technique discovered in patents and is included in more than a third of all discovered inventions."