1. Analysis
May 23, 2022

Artificial intelligence innovation among tech industry companies has dropped off in the last year

Analysis of patent filings shows a shrinking level of AI related applications in the industry over the past year

By Data Journalism Team

Research and innovation in artificial intelligence in the technology and communications sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of AI related patent applications in the industry stood at 2,461 in the three months ending March – down from 3,419 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to AI followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 825 in the three months ending March 2021 to 732 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

AI is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Alphabet Inc was the top AI innovator in the technology and communications sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 220 AI related patents in the three months ending March. That was up from 206 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the China based Huawei Investment & Holding Co Ltd with 216 AI patent applications, the United States based Microsoft Corp (166 applications), and the United States based International Business Machines Corp (140 applications).

Analog Devices Inc has recently ramped up R&D in AI. It saw growth of 91.7% in related patent applications in the three months ending March compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the technology and communications sector.