IBM proudly poses at patent peak
IBM is furiously blowing its own trumpet with the revelation that its inventors received a record number of patents in 2017 – marking the company’s 25th consecutive year of US leadership.
In total, there were 9,043 patents taking it across the 100,000-milestone and giving IBM the supreme confidence and swagger of a used car salesman.
The new patents were granted to a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM researchers, engineers, scientists and designers in 47 different US states and 47 countries.
While not all were fintech, IBM points out that it’s certainly been a busy soul in our sector.
Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO, says: “Nearly half of our patents are pioneering advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, cybersecurity, blockchain and quantum computing.”
Last year, IBM inventors received more than 1,900 cloud patents, including one for a system that uses unstructured data about world or local events to forecast cloud resource needs.
In terms of AI, it reckons there is a “lack of personalisation, which can hinder how AI communicates with people”.
IBM inventors were granted 1,400 AI patents – including one for a system that can help analyse and mirror a user’s speech patterns to improve communication between AI and humans.
Its inventors also received 1,200 cybersecurity patents, such as one that enables AI systems to turn the table on hackers by “baiting them” (awesome!) into email exchanges and websites that expend their resources and frustrate their attacks. It could “substantially reduce” the security risks associated with phishing emails and other attacks.
Elsewhere, there were patents in emerging areas like quantum computing, including a new way for improving a quantum computer’s ability to acquire and retain information – otherwise known as signal readout fidelity.
As reported last year, IBM revealed the first clients to tap into its IBM Q early-access commercial quantum computing systems.
Blockchain also got a mention – it usually does – such as a method to reduce the number of steps involved in settling transactions between multiple business parties, “even those that are not trusted and might otherwise require a third-party clearing house to execute”.