Have you ever heard of a non-human receiving a patent?. By Non-human, I mean a robot kind of application. Yes, thats true. HP's auto-innovation achieved the same. HP calls it as 'Genetic-Programming'. The idea is an application could analyze the 'genes' of earlier inventions and point to evolutionary advances. Thats interesting!.
In any organization, there are plenty of creative ideas, suggestions, initiatives always flow thru. only few of them sustain, rest of everything gets abandoned or goes unnoticed. If the organization does not have a formal way of capturing those ideas/suggestions, then there are chances that people are re-inventing the wheel again for persistent problems. The question is, Can the past knowledge help in determing or predicting the future?. Can a software application help mining those ideas and recommend suitable directions?. And HP claims to have an answer.
Am sure there are chances of looking at false positives!. But the brighter side is that it would help analyzing the existing data for useful patterns, relationships and understanding its impact in the future. For me, it looks to me its an application of Predictive analytics in the Innovation space. HP claims that it uses the concept to streamline their supply chain and come out with new ways of predicting future sales.
I believe the concept/idea is applicable across variety of domains within the enterprise, especially in the area of Idea/Innovation Management.