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In 2015 China overtook the U.S. in the number of Artificial Intelligence Patents Filed, with Korea far behind



According to a new report published today, Korea is not fully prepared for the looming Fourth Industrial Revolution involving artificial intelligence (AI) as its patent application for core technologies of the industrial trend is well behind major countries. Artificial intelligence (AI) and information and communication technology (ICT) are seen as key technologies to lead the industrial movement.


Japanese research firm Astamuse and Nikkei Asian Review released data on the number of patents filed by 10 ten top countries regarding AI from 2010 through to 2014. While the United States was the runaway leader with 15,317 submissions, Korea came up short of its neighboring countries China and Japan with a mere 1,533 submissions.


China's total applications were 8,410 -- a huge increase from 2,934 between 2005 and 2009 -- and Japan's applications were 2,071, down 3 percent from 2,134 during the cited period.


According to a recent poll by multinational professional services firm EY, 10 percent of Korean companies are said to be investing in AI for the next two years, compared with the average rate of 16 percent in other countries.


"While major countries are going all out in developing AI technologies, Korea needs to feel the urgency to invest in AI," said an official of an IT company. "Taking the long-term view, we need to make efforts to nurture startups and small- and mid-sized firms to lead AI development."


In 2015 there was a switch in the leadership race for AI patents filed. According to the Institute for Information and Communications Technology Promotion, China was in the lead with 1.1 million patents with the U.S. falling behind with 589,000 patents. Japan filed 589,000 while Korea filed 213,000 patents.


Unfortunately the report didn't break down who the leading tech companies in each country were. Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM are likely some of the big U.S. tech firm contributors. Apple's CEO Tim Cook revealed last month that their autonomous vehicle project known as Project Titan was 'The Mother of all AI Projects."


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