Artificial Intelligence’s Foothold Increases Going Into 2020
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to expand its footprint in the enterprise and the economy. That’s the word from the AI Index, an annual data update from Stanford University’s Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Institute. The index tracks AI growth across a range of metrics, from papers published to patents granted to employment numbers.
In terms of total employment, while AI-related jobs are but a small fraction, the share is rapidly expanding. In the U.S., the share of jobs in AI-related topics increased from 0.26% of total jobs posted in 2010 to 1.32% in October 2019 — or five-fold growth. The highest share is in machine learning, with 0.51% of total jobs, the report notes. AI labor demand is growing especially in high-tech services and the manufacturing sector. “The traditional services sector, which includes construction, arts, public administration, healthcare and social assistance, demonstrates a relatively lower demand for AI jobs,” the report states.
A majority of large companies, 58%, report adopting AI in at least one function or business unit in 2019, up from 47% in 2018, the report states. At the same time, “only 19% of large companies surveyed say their organizations are taking steps to mitigate risks associated with explainability of their algorithms, the report adds, with 13% are mitigating risks to equity and fairness, such as algorithmic bias and discrimination.”
The index also tracked global private AI investment as a telling metric — which topped $70 billion. Mergers and acquisitions spurred by AI totaled $37 billion, with another $34 billion associated with initial public offerings. Globally, investment in AI startups grew rapidly over the past decade, from a total of $1.3 billion raised in 2010 to more than $40.4 billion. Funding has increased with an average annual growth rate of over 48%.
Among industry sectors, the tech, service sectors and manufacturing saw the greatest rise in demand for AI skills. “Tech service sectors such as information services have the highest proportion of AI jobs posted — 2.3% of the total jobs posted — followed by professional, scientific and technical Services (2%).”
In terms of AI projects, autonomous vehicles received the largest share of global investment over the last year with $7.7 billion, or about 10% of the total. Drug, cancer and therapy received $4.7 billion, or more than six percent.
Other contenders for funding include facial recognition, video content, fraud detection and finance.