1. Analysis
May 23, 2022

Artificial intelligence innovation among retail industry companies has dropped off in the last year

Analysis of patent filings shows a shrinking level of AI related applications in the industry over the past year

By Data Journalism Team

Research and innovation in artificial intelligence in the retail sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of AI related patent applications in the industry stood at 51 in the three months ending March – down from 166 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to AI followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 40 in the three months ending March 2021 to 28 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

AI is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Amazon.com Inc was the top AI innovator in the retail sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 16 AI related patents in the three months ending March. That was down from 21 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the China based Alibaba Group Holding Ltd with 10 AI patent applications, China based JD.com Inc (8 applications), and the United Kingdom based Ocado Group Plc (5 applications).