The Strategist

Study: Presence of AI is growing around the world

12/17/2018 - 14:28

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and Harvard universities, along with the organization OpenAI and a number of other institutions, published the second annual study AI Index. The paper assessed the level of development, distribution, investment and other indicators in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).

The goal was to assess the progress in the field of AI on specific quantitative indicators and understanding this progress. The researchers evaluated a variety of indicators, from the number of published works on AI to the interest of the media and the public to the topic.

For example, the number of scientific papers on AI has increased eightfold since 1996. 28% of such works fall on Europe, 25% - on China (there, the number of works in this field has increased by 150% since 2007), 17% - on the USA. Interest in AI is also confirmed by an increase in the number of students attending introductory courses in related specialties. Their number increased by 3.4 times compared with 2012 in the United States only.

The number of active startups involved in AI in the US has increased 2.1 times from 2015 to 2018, while the total number of startups has grown only 1.3 times. Venture investments in such enterprises have increased 4.5 times since 2013 (venture capital investments as a whole - 2.1 times).

Companies have also started actively introducing AI in their daily activities in various areas (from the pharmaceutical industry to retail) and for various purposes (process automation, machine learning, interactive interfaces, understanding of natural languages, unmanned vehicles, etc.). Increasingly more companies are introducing industrial robots. For example, in China in 2017 there were six times more of them than in 2012.

The authors also collected data on software related to AI: the number of operating system downloads for robots has grown since 2014 by 352%.
Besides, the report assesses the speed of AI learning. For example, the quality of machine translation from German into English (according to the so-called BLEU rating system) has increased three and a half times since 2008.

The report assesses if AI is mentioned in the media in a positive, negative or neutral way. The number of positive references since 2016 has increased by 2.5 times. It also counted the number of mentions of AI and machine learning in government and parliamentary statements and documents in the USA, Canada and the UK. In all three countries, the number of such references increased dramatically in 2018.

Experts believe that it will soon be necessary to evaluate the use of AI in all new areas and develop new techniques. “If we want the AI to multiply the human intellect, and not replace it, we must move from the environment of “man versus machine” to the environment “man plus machine”. Progress in this area may be measures by number of non-autonomous systems in which people make the final decision, but which are supported by machines,” said Francesca Rossi, a professor at the University of Padova and deputy chief editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research.

According to Toby Walsh, a professor at the Australian University of New South Wales, the index should also evaluate the growth of public investment in AI by countries and expansion of its use in the military sphere. “This is often called the “AI race”, in which countries like China demonstrate their desire to achieve dominance with AI,” said Walsh.