Artificial intelligence is a fast-growing technology area with the goal of creating intelligent machines. Most often, these are machines that can imitate human cognitive functions, such as learning and problem solving. Groth & Co has been assisting the Swedish MedTech company ContextVision, carrying out strategic and operational patent work relating to AI and its application in medical images.
Artificial Intelligence or simply AI – what was once viewed as futuristic science fiction is now a natural part of our lives. AI is used in areas such as healthcare, education and translation, and application areas are increasing at the same rapid rate that technology is improving.
American researcher John McCarthy coined the expression Artificial Intelligence in 1956. Since then, much research and technical progress has been made in the area. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s before increased computing power meant that application of AI could take off in many areas. 1997 was the first year in which a computer defeated the ruling world chess champion, and in 2011, the Watson supercomputer won a game of the quiz show Jeopardy against two ruling champions.
The rapid technological development has consequently led to a sharp increase in the number of patent applications linked to AI. Between 2011 and 2016, artificial intelligence was one of the fastest growing technology areas for new patent applications, with an annual average increase of 43%.
ContextVision applies AI to medical images
In 2017, Groth & Co initiated strategic patent work within AI for the Swedish MedTech company ContextVision. The company is a global market leader in image enhancement and delivers image processing to OEM manufacturers within ultrasound, MRI, X-ray and mammography worldwide. With their new innovation, ContextVision would use artificial intelligence, especially deep learning, to automatically optimize image quality of medical images. Our work began with mapping out the fast-growing patent landscape based based on a Freedom to Operate analysis. Following this analysis, we were able to provide the client with strategic advice, and later to write and file patent applications. You can read more about our work for ContextVision here.
What will happen with AI in the future?
Only the future will show how far we can go with artificial intelligence. There are many advantages of the technology, including time and cost savings when a task is moved from a person to a computer. In some cases, AI can also do tasks that are too complicated or too big for people. We have already seen exciting applications of AI, such as writing hit songs, creating recipes and driving cars.
But technology also raises concern about ethics and morals. The sceptics paint dystopic future scenarios in which AI has become so clever that it has become the dominant form of intelligence on Earth. However, AI has already become an important part of the technology industry, which often performs difficult tasks that involve large amounts of data.