Research and innovation in machine learning in the technology and communications sector has declined in the last year, according to research firm GlobalData. Machine learning is a subsegment of artificial intelligence. It uses algorithms to make predictions. In essence, it’s giving computers the power to learn by themselves without any human interaction.

It is clear that research into machine learning could provide businesses with a huge advantage. So it may be surprising that it looks like companies are becoming less interested in investing in research into machine learning.

The most recent figures show that the number of related patent applications in the industry stood at 4,283 in the three months ending June – down from 4,972 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to followed a different pattern to filings – growing from 1683 in the three months ending June 2021 to 2038 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.

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By GlobalData

Machine learning and the research into the sector 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.

International Business Machines Corp was the top innovator in the technology and communications sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 631 related patents in the three months ending June. That was up from 544 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based Alphabet Inc with 379 patent applications, the United States based Microsoft Corp (220 applications), and the United States based Intel Corp (216 applications).

Imagination Technologies Group Ltd has recently ramped up R&D in . It saw growth of 85% in related patent applications in the three months ending June 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.