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The Silicon Review Asia

Despite promising openness, companies still go for patenting their AI tech

Despite promising openness, companies still go for patenting their AI tech

Openness in AI tech is extremely important so that anyone can use AI. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google mentioned the need and importance of open AI platforms at Google’s Cloud Computing Conference in San Francisco, held last week. As his company promotes openness, Pichai bragged about his open AI techs. “We create open platforms and share our technology because it helps new ideas get out faster,” Pichai said.  He even talked about TensorFlow, a software developed by Google and how it open-sourced the code in 2015. “We created TensorFlow to make it possible for anyone to use AI,” Pichai added.

All the large tech giants like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple etc. encourage their AI researchers to publish their latest ideas and have released the code their own engineers use for Machine Learning. But at the same time, the proponents of openness in AI tech are also rushing to patent the technology to claim the ownership of AI techniques. Patent claims related to AI and Machine learning have grown in the recent years. But the concern is that if openness in AI ideas and implementation methods would end, it might hamper the growth of technology in this domain.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s reports, US filings related to Machine Learning and AI have increased rapidly. In 2010, there were around 94 patent claims for Neural Networks, a Machine Learning tech which was grown hugely to 485 in 2016. On one hand, the companies talk about open software tools and give emphasis on openness in the advanced technologies like AI, on the other hand, they are moving forward to lock up the technology.

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