In a new study in which artificial intelligence algorithms have been used to evaluate the feasibility of various technologies, quantitatively evaluating the future potential of 97% of the United States patent system .
The fastest improving domains were predominantly software related. They then turned their findings into an online system where users can enter keywords to find improvement forecasts for specific technologies.
Technology improvement rates
The team used a new algorithm based on probabilities, machine learning, natural language processing, and patent network analysis to predict the performance improvement rates of different technologies .
They first divided the patents into 1,757 discrete technology domains . Each of these was composed of inventions that fulfill a specific function using a different branch of scientific knowledge. The researchers then calculated the average ‘centrality’ of the patents in each domain. This calculation encompasses multiple criteria to determine the importance of different nodes within a patent citation network.
The improvement rates ranged from 2% per year for ‘Mechanical skin treatment: hair removal and wrinkles’ to 216% per year for ‘Support systems and dynamic information exchange that integrate multiple channels’. On average, technology improvements were forecast at a rate of 19% per year .
Domains that show improvement rates higher than the expected rate for embedded chips, according to Moore’s law, are predominantly software and algorithm-based. Rapid advancement of Internet-related technologies in general and enterprise network management in particular was also anticipated.