Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Machine Learning Innovation Report

Karen Andrews MP,
Minister for Industry,
Science & Technology
The report "Machine Learning Innovation:A Patent Analytics Report" by IP Australia for for the Australian Computer Society, is now available. A major finding of the report is that China dominates machine learning patents, having filed 69% of the global total since 2012. One government owned Chinese electric utility is responsible for 3% of these patents globally. The report was launched today by Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

Key Report Findings

  1. 36,740 patent families have been filed in machine learning technologies since 2012.
  2. 25,319 originate from China.
  3. Machine learning patent filings have grown 27% or more every year since 2012.
  4. 91% of AI and machine learning related patent families are in an active state.
  5. The State Grid Corporation of China is the top global innovator, with 1,018 active patent families (88% are active).
  6. China is the largest filing destination in the world, while Australia is 10th.
  7. Australian innovators rank 17th globally, with 59 patent families.
  8. The telecommunications sector leads real world applications of machine learning, with 17% of patent applications.
  9. Image and video analysis is the largest core capability application, with 36% of patent applications.
From Summary,  Machine Learning Innovation:A Patent Analytics Report,  IP Australia, December 2019 (numbering added)
The direction China may want to take AI could be troubling for other countries. As an example, at the recent education conference an academic from a Chinese university presented research on an AI system for monitoring student attention. A camera observes the facial expressions of all students in the classroom at all times, and from this prepares a report on who is paying attention. This is used to prepare reports not only about the student's behavior, but the performance of the teacher. There was some disquiet among the delegates at the Orwellian nature of this. However, the presenter pointed out that the research showed it was very effective. As a result, this approach may find its way into classrooms in other countries.

ps: Kate Crawford, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, will talk on "AI and Power: From Bias to Justice" at ANU, 5:30pm today.

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