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Reproduced from a USPTO report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A report this week from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) found the number of AI-related patents filed each year more than doubled between 2002 and 2018.

Why it matters: The increase in patent applications is just one way to chart the growing role artificial intelligence is playing in the U.S. economy.

By the numbers: The number of AI-related patent applications increased from 30,000 in 2002 to more than 60,000 in 2018, while AI's share of overall patent filings went from a minuscule percentage to more than 15%.

  • AI-related applications also grew across different kinds of technologies, organizations and geographies.

The bottom line: Every great economic innovation begins with a patent, and increasingly that means AI.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Nov 19, 2020 - Technology

Survey: Executives are prioritizing AI skills

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Executives and senior managers say they will prioritize hiring candidates who have skills in automation and AI, according to a survey first shared with Axios.

Why it matters: Automation hasn't yet transformed the business world, in part because companies don't yet know how to harness these new technologies. If that's going to happen, they'll need workers who know how to use AI.

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.