Which countries are ahead in AI? Many, in one way or another, and not always the ones you might expect.

What’s new: The Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence published its 2019 Artificial Intelligence Index, detailing when, where, and how AI is on the rise. The authors also launched a Global AI Vibrancy Tool, making it easy to compare countries on a number of metrics.

What it says: The report, guided by professor and entrepreneur Yoav Shoham, compiled data from all along the AI pipeline: college enrollment, journal citations, patent filings, conference attendance, job listings, and more. Some highlights:

  • AI hiring is growing fastest in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Singapore. The percentage of the U.S. workforce performing some sort of AI-related task grew from 0.26 percent to 1.32 percent.
  • Argentina, Canada, Iran, and several European countries have relatively high proportions of women in the field.
  • Total private investment in AI approached $40 billion in the U.S. last year, well ahead of runner-up China. Global private investment topped $70 billion, with startups contributing around half of that.
  • Since 1998, the number of peer-reviewed AI research papers has more than quadrupled, and now accounts for 9 percent of published conference papers. Chinese authors published most of them. Nonetheless, U.S. papers are cited 40 percent more often than the global average.

Behind the news: The AI Index is a product of the 100 Year Study on AI. Founded in 2014, the project tracks AI’s impact on jobs, education, national security, human psychology, ethics, law, privacy, and democracy.

We’re thinking: William Gibson said it best: “The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

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