Developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) are considered to be almost the key direction of scientific and technological progress in the 21st century. But which countries and companies are leading the world in creating “thinking” and self-learning machines and computer programs? It is widely believed that North America is still ahead, but Asia is about to overtake it, while Europe is increasingly lagging behind.
Startups are evidence of an innovative economy
The authors of the Cologne study chose a very original criterion for their ranking. They decided to evaluate the success and competitiveness in the field of AI in individual countries (and the EU as a whole) based on the number of young innovative firms (startups) working in this field.
In doing so, they relied in particular on a list of 3,500 startups from 67 countries, compiled in 2018 by the German consulting firm Roland Berger. Other sources included the European statistical office Eurostat, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank (WB), and the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The list of 15 global leaders was headed by:
1 – the United States,
2 – the European Union (28 countries so far),
3 – China.
In what Israel and Finland are far ahead of China
One of the big surprises of the study is that right behind these three economic giants is Israel, where the population is simply incomparably smaller. In 5th place is the United Kingdom, whose imminent exit from the EU will clearly weaken its collective position; in 6th place is Canada, the second North American country, and in 7th place is Japan.
Noteworthy is the dominance of European countries in the second half of the ranking:
- France (8),
- Germany (9),
- Sweden (11),
- Finland (12),
- Spain (14),
- Switzerland (15).
There are only two Asian countries: India (10) and South Korea (13).
However, much more revealing for the innovative potential of the state are, of course, not absolute, but relative figures. IW scientists compared the number of startups to the total number of enterprises in the country and to its population. According to these two criteria, Israel is the world leader in artificial intelligence development company.
Finland came in 2nd place for the number of AI startups developing per 1 million inhabitants, followed by Sweden in 3rd place. Then come the United States, Britain, Canada, Switzerland, France, the EU, and Germany. Thus, there is not a single (densely populated) Asian country in the top 10. South Korea is in 13th place, China is penultimate, and India is last.
The top 30 AI inventors
In other words, young AI firms in Europe and North America are much more widespread and have a much broader base than in Asia. This conclusion is fully supported by the rating on the number of AI startups per 1,000 operating businesses:
Is in second place after
- The U.S.,
- Great Britain,
- South Korea,
Of course, startups are very indicative, but not the only and certainly not the main criterion for evaluating the success of individual countries and regions in the development of artificial intelligence, and scientists at the Cologne Institute are well aware of this. Another criterion could be the number of patents in the field of AI. All this information you can know with the help of https://data-science-ua.com/.