By Srinath Srinivasan American tech major IBM, for the 26th year in a row, has come out as the US patents leader with a record 9,100 patents. The new patents were granted to a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM inventors in 47 different US states and 48 countries. From India, patents were filed by collaborations between IBM Software Labs, IBM research Labs, IBM Systems Development Labs, Global Technology Services Labs along with other businesses like GBS (Global Business Services) and GTS (Global Technology Services). Big Blue leads the industry in the number of Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, cybersecurity and quantum computing-related patent grants. \u201cIBM is committed to leading the way on the technologies that change the way the world works \u2013 and solving problems many people have not even thought of yet,\u201d said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO. Overall, nearly half of the 2018 patents relate to pioneering advancements in AI, cloud computing, cybersecurity, blockchain and quantum computing. IBM was granted 1,600 AI patents. Some of these use AI to help converse and protect the earth\u2019s lakes and waterways. AI also played a large role in the more than 1,400 cybersecurity patents IBM inventors were granted in 2018, including an AI-powered security approach to combat voice phishing. IBM India\u2019s focus is also the same \u2014AI, cloud computing, security and quantum computing. READ ALSO |\u00a0Mukesh Ambani\u2019s Reliance Retail only Indian firm on Deloitte\u2019s top 250 retailers\u2019 list; check first 3 Two IBM patents granted in 2018: Project debater \u2013 first-of-a-kind AI system from IBM Research that can debate humans on complex topics. IBM inventors patented an approach to use machine learning to identify evidence which supports or opposes a claim or topic under consideration. This could help provide advancements in how machines and humans interact in a conversation. Aquatic ecosystem monitoring \u2013 IBM inventors patented a system that could be used to identify, characterise, and monitor vertical temperature profiles and gradients, which affect marine life, in lakes and other aquatic ecosystems.