IP Australia launches AI/ML ‘marketplace’

IP Australia, the Government's chief administrator for intellectual property and patent applications, has launched a new platform to help increase third party exposure to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools.

Known as IP GAIN, the new “secure and scalable platform”, hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, has been likened to “an app store or marketplace” for developers, allowing third parties to expose, host, and provide access to their AI/ML tools.

As well as the ‘app store’ capability, the platform will also feature a unique source code repository for sharing, licensing, and co-developing AI/ML technologies.

In launching its new platform, IP Australia stressed the challenge of nurturing the development of AI/ML tools that can support the agency’s work.  

“The IP ecosystem is relatively niche, with a bespoke set of problems,” IP Australia noted on its website.  

“In developing IP GAIN, our intent is to enable access to and accelerate the development of Cognitive Computing solutions to support use cases in the IP ecosystem whilst reducing duplication, avoiding redundancy, encouraging collaboration and novel approaches through co-development opportunities.”

In 2017, IP Australia made its first forays into the AI space, launching a world-first trademark image-recognition and search function (known as Australian Trade Mark Search), giving the agency the power to search and cross-compare hundreds of thousands of logos within seconds for trademark applications. In the previous year, the agency launched an ML-backed virtual assistant, known as Alex, on its website.

A surge in AI development has proved both a boon and a challenge for the agency. A recent World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) study noted that, through to 2016, 314,000 applications have been filed for AI-related inventions across the globe, with 1.6 million scientific papers published.

Worldwide, spending on cognitive and AI systems is forecast to exceed US$77.6 billion in 2022, according to IDC.