Skip to main content

US and China take worldwide lead on AI, says UN

(Image credit: Image Credit: Razum / Shutterstock)

China may want to be the global leader in Artificial Intelligence, but the United States is currently giving it a  run for their money, new research has found.

According to the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (opens in new tab), these two countries are far ahead of the competition when it comes to developing artificial intelligence and AI-powered solutions.

It was said that IBM has the biggest AI portfolio, counting 8,920 patents. Microsoft came in second with 5,930 patents. An Japanese conglomerate came in third.

When it comes to academic institutions involved in AI patents, China gave 17 out of the top 20. It was said that China was 'particularly strong' in the sector of deep learning.

“The U.S. and China obviously have stolen a lead. They’re out in front in this area, in terms of numbers of applications, and in scientific publications,” WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry told a news conference.

The number of patents in machine learning grew 28 per cent between 2013 and 2016. The majority of these came from deep learning. Computer vision seems to be the most popular application for AI, most likely because of the advances made in the autonomous vehicles industry.

The US and China are engaged in a trade war at the moment, with the US accusing the Chinese of espionage, cyberwarfare and IP theft. Huawei, which was caught in the crossfire, is being accused of assisting the Chinese with espionage, which is why many western countries have banned it from building their 5G infrastructure.

Image Credit: Razum / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.