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The number of patents being filed for AI inventions and techniques is soaring. A report by EconSight estimated the annual growth rate to be 29.3 percent between 2010 and 2018.
Francis Gurry, WIPO Director General, said that “patenting activity in the artificial intelligence realm is rising at a rapid pace, meaning we can expect a very significant number of new AI-based products, applications, and techniques that will alter our daily lives.”
While the number of patents is large, one issue is that the number those patents are concentrated in the hands of a small number of technology companies.
David Nadler, founder of Kensho Technologies , said that “the coming era will be looked back upon as the ‘AI era,’ when AI became the defining competitive advantage for corporations, government agencies, and investment professionals.”
Amy Webb, NYU Stern School of Business, said that “it may feel like AI is being developed by many different countries from around the world, and to some extent that’s true, however, essentially there are only nine companies in the world that effectively have the lion share of patents. Those firms are well capitalized and are effectively building out the frameworks for the future. The problem with this is that the future of AI is seemingly concentrated in the hands of just a few companies, but we need to think more holistically.”
Andrew Ng, chief executive of Landing AI, wrote in the WIPO report that “media coverage tends to focus on images, speech and natural language processing because those types of data are very human. Structured data gets less attention because it’s not as visual or intuitive, but it is driving massive value today and will continue as companies across all industries transform themselves with AI.”