Looks like the artificial intelligence arms race is well and truly on – at least from the point of view of patent grants.
IBM, Microsoft, Google and Sony are the top 4 large organisations getting patents from the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2013.
The article below also states that IBM itself invested US$1bn in cognitive computing and machine learning last year (2014). That’s a big bet by Big Blue, which must be bolstered by the impressive display that it’s Watson AI showed.
The granting of patents in this space raises many questions about whether they will be used defensively or offensively. Furthermore, what will be the impact on researchers and hobbyists as they develop further capabilities and methods of enhancing machine learning. For now, it looks like they also are getting their own patents, with individuals garnering the third largest number of AI related patents.