In modern societies, innovation and new technologies are key to growth and development and to achieving more inclusive economies and…
societies. In the past decades, the development and adoption of new technologies across all sectors of the economy has been characterised by unprecedented speed, scale and scope of technological change. Some of these new technologies are so pervasive that they have the potential to affect every part of economies and societies. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one such general purpose technology that seems set to play a key role in almost every aspect of our lives.
While very widespread and deep, ongoing changes are nevertheless difficult to fully understand. The prospect for opportunities seems huge but so do the challenges, and there is the risk that the future may bring undesirable consequences - at least for some parts of society - if technological change is not steered towards enabling inclusive and sustainable outcomes, nor follows internationally agreed ethical principles. AI is a typical example of a technology having the potential to profoundly improve our lives but also to create or widen disparities. Understanding the role of all players involved in and leading technological change, also in the private sector, is key to better understand ongoing and future developments and to steer them in a direction that enhances society.
This report brings together data on patents, trademarks and scientific publications of the world’s top corporate R&D investors to shed light on the role of these key players in shaping the future of technologies, and of AI in particular. As for the two previous editions, this work results from the collaborative effort of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (EC-JRC) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), two organisations committed to providing solid data and analysis in support of evidence-based policy making. Show less