In a press release, Armonk, New York-based IBM said it led the industry in terms of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, security and quantum computing-related patent grants.
"IBM is committed to leading the way on the technologies that change the way the world works – and solving problems many people have not even thought of yet," said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, in a press release announcing the milestone. "Our clients and their customers are the beneficiaries of these innovations, particularly our leadership in AI, cloud, blockchain and security for business."
According to IBM in 2018, close to half the patents are related to AI, cloud computing, security, blockchain and quantum computing. The company noted that it was granted 1,600 AI patents, including new ways to use AI for conversations and to protect the lakes and waterways around the world. Artificial intelligence also played a bigger role in the more than 1,400 security patents IBM secured last year, including an AI-powered security approach to fighting voice phishing.
One patent that IBM highlighted in the press release was Project Debater, which is an AI system that can debate humans on complex topics, and could help advance how humans and machines interact. IBM inventors also received a patent for a system that can be used to identify, characterize and monitor vertical temperature profiles and gradients, which affect marine life in lakes and other aquatic ecosystems. IBM also noted that it patented an AI system that can analyze the conversational patterns between two people in order to identify attempts by one person to try to trick the other. The system is able to send an alert in real time to warn a potential victim of a phone phishing scam.
On the computer front, IBM said it received more than 2,000 cloud computing patents last year, and also broke ground in the blockchain market. One patent it was granted is for encrypting data stores on the blockchain. The company noted that new patents were granted to more than 8,500 IBM inventors in 47 different U.S. states and 48 countries.