Researchers at CB Insights have released an extensive report on Google’s business, illustrating just how dedicated the search company is to artificial intelligence.
CB Insights found that Google typically files each year more AI-related patents than the company’s top rivals, including Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook.
Google’s top execs have long said that AI is core to the company’s future growth, but CB Insights looked at a wide variety of data to try and learn how determined Google is to dominate AI. One area within AI that is of particular interest to Google is neural networks.
“Google is also focused on building out its deep learning capabilities,” CB Insights researchers wrote, “which is more complex than traditional machine learning in that it generates predictions using an artificial neural network inspired by the human brain.”
CB Insights searched the patent filings and noted that among Google’s top patent keywords, “neural network” was becoming more prominent.
When it comes to overall Research & Development, the amount Google spends compared to rivals is on the high side, according to CB Insights–both in terms of absolute dollars and as a percentage of sales.
According to CB Insights, Google’s plan is to defend the core search business while disrupting such industries as transportation, logistics, and healthcare. But at the center of everything is AI.
“Unifying Alphabet’s approach across initiatives is its expertise in AI and machine learning,” the researchers wrote, “which the company believes will help it become an all-encompassing service for both consumers and enterprises.”
For Google, AI is a major strategic initiative. Even as Google uses AI to bolster its consumer services, its Google Cloud unit is working to gain ground on the cloud market-leading Amazon Web Services, and the second-place Microsoft Azure.
And besides the competitive impetus, Google believes that AI is really the next big thing.
“AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said earlier this year. “It is more profound than, I don’t know, electricity or fire.”