UPDATE: IBM Tops 2018 Patent List as AI and Quantum Computing Gain Prominence

IBM earned a document 9,100 U.S. patents in 2018, marking the 26th yr in a row the Armonk, New York-based firm has been the highest recipient. Samsung was second with 5,850 patents whereas tech giants Apple and Microsoft additionally appeared within the prime ten, in line with a record compiled by analysis service IFI Claims.

IBM’s newest patent haul, which topped the 9,043 it obtained final yr, features a rising variety of innovations associated to synthetic intelligence and quantum computing, which many individuals see as essential applied sciences of the longer term.

Right here is the total record of the main 2018 patent recipients:

Google, which got here in at quantity seven on final yr’s record, didn’t crack the highest ten patent recipients for 2018. In the meantime, Apple rose to ninth from eleventh.

Amongst 1,600 AI-related patents awarded to IBM, one is for Venture Debater, a device that makes use of machine studying methods to simulate actual life debates on a large for number of subjects.

In keeping with IBM analysis Jeff Welser, Venture Debater is able to understanding how two similar sentences can convey totally different meanings relying on the context, and anticipates a world the place computer systems will higher perceive human interactions.

In an interview with Fortune, Welser added that quantum computing will begin having an actual world impression within the subsequent few years as scientists discover ways to add extra qubits—the unit of data analogous to bits in classical computing—and retailer them in a steady state.

“We’ll see quantum computing’s first impression within the areas of chemistry and science. When you get to 100 qubits, you possibly can instantly do stuff you possibly can’t do different methods,” stated Welser, including that 50 qubits is the utmost viable variety of qubits at present.

Along with these for AI and quantum computing, IBM obtained quite a few patents for cloud computing and likewise one for blockchain.

Whereas patents generally is a helpful proxy for innovation, this isn’t all the time the case. Lately, lawmakers and companies have criticized the U.S. Patent Workplace for granting too many low high quality patents. Many of those can find yourself within the palms of “patent trolls“—shell firms that purchase patents so as to sue or extract settlements from productive firms.

Welser says IBM is aware of patents function within the bigger tech eco-system, and that lots of the firm’s most prolific patent recipients additionally contribute to open supply initiatives that make know-how obtainable to everybody.

In an announcement, IBM additionally famous that patents it obtained final yr had been granted to “a various group of greater than eight,500 IBM inventors in 47 totally different U.S. states and 48 nations.”

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