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UN: China Leads World’s GenAI Patent Race

China AI

New United Nations data showed China with a comfortable lead in the race to develop artificial intelligence products.

Between 2014 and last year, more than 38,000 generative AI inventions came out of China, six times the amount of those coming from the second-place United States, the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said in a Wednesday (July 3) press release that coincided with the issue of a report, “WIPO Patent Landscape Report on Generative AI”.

“Through analyzing patenting trends and data, WIPO hopes to give everyone a better understanding of where this fast-evolving technology is being developed, and where it is headed,” WIPO Director General Daren Tang said in the release. “This can help policymakers shape the development of GenAI for our common benefit and to ensure that we continue to put the human being at the center of our innovation and creative ecosystems.”

The growth in the sector is rapid, with the number of generative AI patents jumping eightfold since 2017, when the deep neural network architecture behind today’s large language models was introduced.

More than a quarter of all GenAI patents were published just last year, although these patents only account for 6% of all AI patents worldwide, the report said.

Among the top 10 GenAI patent application producers, six were Chinese organizations, including the top four members of the list: Tencent, Ping An Insurance, Baidu and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, all of which were ahead of American tech giants like IBM, Google and Microsoft.

In other AI-related news, Anthropic announced this week a new funding program for third-party organizations to develop new methods for assessing AI capabilities and risks, addressing a gap in the evolving field.

“Anthropic’s initiative could have far-reaching implications for the commercial AI landscape,” PYMNTS wrote Tuesday (July 2). “By creating more reliable and comprehensive evaluation methods, businesses may gain the confidence to deploy AI solutions in critical areas such as healthcare, finance and customer service. This could potentially unlock productivity gains and new revenue streams across industries.”

However, the report added, the program’s success will rest largely on the quality and relevance of the evaluations developed. If the new benchmarks can’t capture real-world scenarios adequately or are too narrowly focused, they may offer a false sense of security.

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