Netscribes had a look at who owns the patents for AI development and found that Amazon, eBay, IBM, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have consolidated their dominance in this space during the last five years.
In their report with the catchy title Artificial Intelligence in Retail: Patent Analysis, more than 1200 patent publications have been filed globally since 2012, with a focus on artificial intelligence in the retail and e-commerce segment.
Some of the key application areas that Amazon is focused on include customer surveillance and recommendation systems for offline retailers.
eBay's focus is around the areas of machine learning algorithms, data processing techniques, and neural networks, that seem to be geared towards tackling the challenges in online resource management, prediction of online shopper behavior, and inventory management.
Lalatendu Sahoo, Head of Patent Research at Netscribes said: "Firms such as Amazon and Google are constantly raising the stakes through technology and innovation and are making it difficult for new entrants to survive in this explosive growth market.
“It's crucial to know the technology developments happening in your industry in order to adapt accordingly."
He added: "Through a patent analysis, brands and retailers can gain the intelligence needed to survive long term in the changing business environment. The key is to be on a constant lookout for futuristic technologies that can potentially disrupt your existing business model."
It would make an interesting dystopian movie where the big corporations use their AI technology to take over the world. Although it is also possible that this has already happened.