Q1/2019 - WIPO

Geneva, 31 January 2019

A comprehensive study about artificial intelligence with a particular focus on the issues relating to trademarks and patents going along with it was presented by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva on 31 January 2019. Next to other things, the first publication of the new series “WIPO Technology Trend” investigates developments in the fields of machine learning, machine vision, speech and face recognition and robotics. The majority of the AI patent applications come from the fields of transportation, telecommunications as well as life and medical sciences. According to the study, patent applications for so-called “personal devices” have risen from 2,915 in 2013 to 3,977 in the year 2016 (an increase by 11 percent).

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said: “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 – and also shape future human interaction with the machines we created. AI’s ramifications for the future of human development are profound. The first step in maximizing the widespread benefit of AI, while addressing ethical, legal and regulatory challenges, is to create a common factual basis for understanding of artificial intelligence”. With the study, WIPO wanted to contribute “evidence-based projections, thereby informing global policymaking on the future of AI, its governance and the intellectual property framework that supports it”.[1]

The study features a foreword by Andrew Ng, KI guru and professor at Stanford University, who previously was responsible for AI projects at Baidu, Google and other companies. Ng recommends establishing a broad multistakeholder cooperation to create greater public awareness for the possibilities and risks AI provides.[2] He complains that the USA and China play a dominant role in AI research and calls on all governments to invest more in AI education.[3]

Mehr zum Thema
  1. [1] WIPO study on “Technology Trends” investigates Artificial Intelligence: IBM and Microsoft are leaders in the recent global upswing of AI inventions. Geneva, 31 January 2019: Here are some findings of the study: 1. Since AI first developed in the 1950s, inventors and researchers applied for nearly 340,00 patents in the realm of AI and published more than 1.6 million academic papers until 2016. 2. Patenting activity in the artificial intelligence realm is rising at a rapid pace, with more than half of the innovations being published since 2013. 3. Companies represent 26 out of the top 30 AI patent applicants, the remaining four are universities or public research organisations. 4. The International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) resident in the USA had the largest portfolio of AI patent applications at the end of 2016 with 8,290 inventions, followed by the US-American Microsoft Corp. with 5,930. Ranks three to five were held by Toshiba Corp., Japan, (5,223), the Samsung Group from the Republic of Korea (5,102), and the Japanese NEC Group (4,406). (Chapter 4). 5. Chinese organisation account for 3 of the 4 academic players among the top 30 patent filings; the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), with over 2,500 patent families, holds rank 17. As to the academic players, Chinese organizations make up 17 of the top 20 academic players in AI patenting as well as 10 of the top 20 in AI-related scientific publications. See https://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/pressroom/de/documents/pr_2019_827.pdf
  2. [2] See: WIPO Technology Trends: Artificial Intelligence, WIPO, Geneva, January 2019, Foreword by Andrew Ng: “In order to help more people and businesses harness the potential of AI, we should consider the following three actions: 1. Build more public–private partnerships: When companies and universities or government organizations work together, both sides can benefit. For example, university researchers can access more data and understand relevant problems, and corporations can understand the latest breakthroughs in technology. 2. Continue promoting the free and open sharing of AI knowledge and resources: Companies have joined universities as leading forces for publishing free and open AI research. The arXiv repository has made a huge difference to the AI revolution, as has the hosting service GitHub because it dramatically accelerates the free dissemination of ideas. Other fields can learn this lesson and move away from paywalled journals. 3. Promote increased understanding of AI: Today, you can get a PhD to learn AI, but it’s not the only option. Traditional degrees, jobs that allow you to learn, and at-home online learning programs (such as MOOCs) are all good ways for people to learn and work on important problems. The more widely accessible information we have, the more flexibility people will have to learn. In: href="https://www.wipo.int/tech_trends/en/artificial_intelligence/" href="https://www.wipo.int/tech_trends/en/artificial_intelligence/">https://www.wipo.int/tech_trends/en/artificial_intelligence/
  3. [3] See: Andrew Ng, ibid.: “Today, a significant amount of AI research and education is taking place in the United States and China. These countries are home to many of the best universities in the world, and their governments have provided funding and created thoughtful regulations that enable innovation. But the United States and China have also built incredible business ecosystems. It’s very difficult for other countries, even those with great education, to compete with the business, engineering and investing talent of those two countries. To close this gap, and work towards decentralizing the concentration of AI technology, we must invest in education. Governments should invest heavily in educating their citizens and enter public–private partnerships to adopt AI-powered systems safely. AI will transform every facet of society. It brings tremendous promise to improve our lives and the world we live in, but it will require the creation of an AI ecosystem to ensure long-term, sustainable growth. As this report highlights, AI technology and innovation has until now been focused on a small number of regions and organizations. In building a fairer and more equitable AI-driven society, we must empower businesses, governments and citizens who may be impacted by automation to ensure that the benefits of AI are widely shared. In: href="https://www.wipo.int/tech_trends/en/artificial_intelligence/" href="https://www.wipo.int/tech_trends/en/artificial_intelligence/">https://www.wipo.int/tech_trends/en/artificial_intelligence/