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U.N. analysis: U.S., China winning race for AI development

By Danielle Haynes
U.N. analysis: U.S., China winning race for AI development
An engineer inspects an artificial intelligence delivery robot at a trade show in Beijing on May 31. The United Nations said China is leading the field in academic research and inventions in AI. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The number of global artificial intelligence inventions over a recent three-year span more than doubled all previous creations since the 1950s, the United Nations said in a report Thursday.

Since AI first emerged in the 1950s, researchers have filed applications for some 340,000 inventions and patents worldwide, the World Intellectual Property Organization said in its report. More than half of those came between 2013 and 2016, that last year for which data was available for the analysis.

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The WIPO said China and the United States led the field in the number of patents and academic developments, respectively.

Among companies, U.S.-based IBM had the most AI-related patents at 8,290, followed by Microsoft with nearly 6,000. Japanese companies Toshiba (5,223) and NEC Group (4,406) came in third and fifth. South Korean company Samsung was fourth with 5,102.

The analysis said Chinese organizations, meanwhile, led the field in academic research and patenting.

The Top 30 AI patent applicants worldwide included 26 companies and four academic organizations. Chinese groups accounted for three of those four organizations.

Chinese organizations also accounted for 17 of the Top 20 academic players in AI patenting and 10 of the Top 20 in AI-related scientific publications.

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