The Korean Intellectual Property Office announced on March 21 that the number of artificial intelligence (AI) patent applications in South Korea stood at 2,638 between 2006 and last year whereas the numbers amounted to 24,054 and 4,208 in the United States and Japan during the same period, respectively. It also said that the number in South Korea was on the decline in recent years. Specifically, it was 371 in 2013 but decreased to 367 in 2014 and 301 in the following year.
The agency pointed out that only a small number of industrial sectors are trying to incorporate AI into themselves. According to it, most of the AI patent applications in South Korea are related to the IT sector including computer engineering and telecommunications while the applications in non-IT sectors, such as chemical, food, clothing and construction, accounted for 0.1% of the total applications.
South Korean enterprises in the private sector are investing little in AI these days, too. According to the Korea Information Society Development Institute, their investment in AI totaled only 18 billion won or so in the past five years. The institute explained that they are hesitating because AI is a sector where their efforts take time to bear fruit.