Google AI Reinvents Speech Recognition. Who will follow?

There is no doubt that the big 5 tech companies (Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft) have developed massive IP portfolios in many areas – except perhaps one. For example, of the big 5, only Google has patent data in the Speech-Neurology portion of the AI Biotech sector. 

To date, Google has 3 documents in the Speech-Neurology sector including an application and subsequent patent from 2016, and more recently a fresh application that was published this past week. All three of these documents utilize AI to recognize, interpret, and predict content based on spoken speech. Interestingly, speech recognition and prediction is a fairly common technology used by all of these big 5 companies. This raises the question of “Where is the patent data?” 

There are a few plausible answers to this question. First, it is possible the other companies have not patented their Neurology-Speech recognition programs because of the difficulties involved in obtaining patents in the AI, Machine-Learning, and Software fields. The other possibility is that the companies are licensing the technology from other well established Neurology-Speech Recognition companies such as Canary, Frontive, Philips, or IBM. Regardless of the reasoning, patent data shows that Google is the only one who holds IP in this specific sector. Will the other Big-Tech companies follow suit, or will they remain content with whatever reason they have for not protecting this technology? Google’s recent application in the sector suggests a renewed interest in the field. Follow the Patent Forecast® to see if others follow.