UNITED NATIONS: China and the United States are ahead of the global competition to dominate artificial intelligence (AI), according to a report from the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released Thursday.
Report said that the “upsurge” in patent applications for devices and machines powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the last five years, suggests that it could soon revolutionize all areas of daily life far beyond the tech world.
Fifty percent of all patents for AI – the replication of human intelligence by machines for use in industries such as transport and healthcare, for instance – have been published since 2013, adding up to more than 170,000 different patented ideas.
This followed on from an initial boom in AI scientific publications, which began in 2001.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry told journalists in Geneva the surge in patenting was “striking”, noting that AI research began in the 1950s. “But there has been a quantum leap since about 2013, so we’re dealing with what is happening right now in a very fast-moving field,” he insisted.
By number, patent applications for machine learning, indicate that this is currently the dominant application of AI; think of apps that include ride-sharing services to minimize detours.
The fastest-growing AI area is “deep learning”, however, which is used in speech recognition.
This saw a 175-per cent annual increase in patent applications from 2013 to 2016, far in excess of the 33 percent average for all patents in the same period.
The United States and China dominate the field of patent application, although only a fraction of China’s patents is filed abroad. US-based tech giant IBM leads by number of patent applications (8,290), followed by Microsoft (5,930).
Japan’s Toshiba has the next highest patent tally (5,223), ahead of South Korea’s Samsung (5,102) and Japan’s NEC Group (4,406).
China’s increasingly important role in the sector is also illustrated by the fact that Chinese organizations make up 17 of the top 20 academic players in AI patenting, as well as 10 of the top 20 in AI-related scientific publications.
In coming years, AI is set to grow with “major military and economic” uses, Gurry suggested, before highlighting the importance of proposed WIPO-led discussions between the Member States, on legal and ethical issues relating to intellectual property rights that have been raised by the technology.
“One would expect that the strategic focus of major geopolitical players will turn to their positioning in relation to AI,” he said.
Internet search giants have also been key to the AI revolution, the WIPO report shows, with Google (US) and Baidu (China) embracing the potential of the technology early on, just as Microsoft and Apple did before them.
“You did say that we see some of the internet giants there,” Mr. Gurry said to reporters. “Why? Because of data…because of the access they have to date.”
In addition to the US and China’s large populations, the WIPO head noted the importance of State-led support for innovation in both places, which included investing in technology hubs and even training specialized patent officers.
Faced with this backing, “it’s very difficult for other countries, even those with great education, to compete with the business, engineering and investing talent” of China and the US, AI expert and CEO of Landing AI and deep learning, Andrew Ng, notes in the WIPO publication, adding that the “biggest untapped opportunities” lie outside the software industry, in areas including agriculture, healthcare, and manufacturing.
Echoing those comments, the WIPO Director-General noted that the cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe “is not necessarily favoring the formation of major data pools. And we all know the more data, the better for machine learning, for example, the results, you are going to get”.
Asked whether the world was better off because of the technology, which industry experts credit with the potential to create massive economic value, the WIPO Director General underlined the fact that the science behind it is “neutral”.
“Is it (AI) good news or bad news?” he asked. “Well, I would tend to say that all technology is somewhat neutral, and it depends on what you do with it. So, insofar as you may use AI science and techniques for developing autonomous weapons systems that are going to kill us all, is not very good news, but insofar as it’s being used to improve health indicators for diagnostics, for other purposes, it’s great news.”
S. Korea to begin 5G service in March
SEOUL: South Korea’s finance minister said today that Seoul will become the first country in the world to start commercial operations of fifth-generation mobile network services next month.
Hong Nam-ki made the announcement at a meeting with senior officials on innovation-led growth in Seoul. KT Corp., South Korea’s leading wireless and fixed-line services provider, carried out a world first
trial service of its 5G system during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last year. 5G data transmission speeds are 40-50 times faster than the existing 4G network or long-term evolution (LTE) and are expected to open a wide range of new business opportunities for the communication service sector.
The system, moreover, allows greater numbers of people to communicate with each other at the same time and promises to open vast markets for devices and services. The finance minister also said KT and two other local competitors – SK Telecom Co. and LG Uplus Inc. – will invest some 3 trillion won (US$2.6 billion) this year to set up seamless 5G connectivity in the country going forward.
Malaysia aims to become leading aerospace nation by 2030
MALAYSIA: Malaysia is aiming to become Southeast Asia’s leading aerospace nation by 2030, says International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking.
He said by 2030, the industry was targeted to generate an annual revenue of RM55.2 billion and create more than 32,000 high-income jobs.
“Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, the government had identified the aerospace sector as one of the new growth industries for Malaysia,” he said when launching SAM Engineering and Equipment (M) Bhd’s new plant here Thursday.
Darell said the government aimed to shift Malaysia’s economy from labour intensive to high value-added, as well as knowledge and innovation-based economy, with a focus on the services and manufacturing sectors.
“In 2017, the Malaysian aerospace industry recorded a revenue of RM13.5 billion, with aerospace manufacturing contributing 48 per cent of the amount.
“The (aerospace) industry’s export value reached RM8.51 billion, comprising mainly of aerospace parts and components,” he said.
Citing a report, Darell said aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing forecast that more than 40,000 new aircraft would be needed globally by 2037 and about 16,000 aircraft would be delivered to the Asia-Pacific region.
“Airbus valued the 35,000 of the planes to be delivered over the next 20 years at around US$5 trillion (US$1=RM4.07),” he said.
The minister said a strong ecosystem to support aerospace manufacturing, and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities was needed in view of the expected increase in the number of aircraft globally and regionally.
“This positive development is spurring the government to view the aerospace industry as a critical sector offering abundant opportunities for the transfer of advanced technologies in engineering, electronics, composite materials, system integration, MRO, and industry-led research and technology,” he added.
Samsung launches flagship Galaxy S10 series smartphones in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO: South Korea’s top smartphone manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has officially launched its flagship Galaxy S lineup of smartphones at its Unpacked event in downtown San Francisco.
The newly unveiled products consist of three models — the cheaper S10e, the standard S10 and the S10 Plus, which Samsung claimed are next-generation mobile devices for needs of a future life.
Galaxy S10 Plus boasts a 6.4-inch screen featuring Samsung’s new “Dynamic AMOLED” display technology, and an Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor that is believed to be fast enough to become a strong contender of Apple’s iPhone XS Max.
The launch of the Galaxy S series smartphones coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Galaxy family since the first Galaxy S mobile phone made its debut a decade ago.
Samsung said the new lineup “delivers a next-generation experience in the categories consumers care about most: groundbreaking innovations in display, camera and performance.”
“Since its launch 10 years ago, the Galaxy S series has stood for premium innovation — offering consumers an incredible experience, and the ability to find the device that’s right for them,” said DJ Koh, president and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.
With these new products, Samsung is “leveraging a decade of industry leadership to usher in a new era of smartphone technology,” Koh added.
Samsung also announced its new lineup of Galaxy wearables — Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Fit and Galaxy wireless ear buds at Wednesday’s event.