Artificial intelligence (AI) in the U.S. - statistics & facts
Artificial intelligence (AI) - the technology that allows digital computers or computer-controlled robots to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings - has been the subject of people’s imagination for decades. Although human-like androids such as those portrayed in the science fiction movie Blade Runner are still far from reality, applications of AI such as smartphone virtual assistants and industrial robots are already widespread in our society and make our life more convenient. The industry’s powerful ability to improve efficiency and increase productivity has made it of strategic importance to countries and governments that are competing to get ahead in the AI race. The United States, being the only superpower in the world, is naturally advantaged in this race and has been in the lead.
The United States and AI funding
There are few nations on earth that have as much investment pull as the United States and that translates well into strong leverage on AI. The country is the location for, by far, the largest amount of AI startups funding deals. Funding in the country has increased significantly in 2020 and 2021. Although, since the start of 2022, the funding for AI startups has seen a significant reduction in funding levels. This is not unique to the United States as investments have fallen across the globe. The United States, however, continues to dominate the market both in the share of deals and in sheer funding. It also houses some of the most sought-after tech startups and companies, whether it is OpenAI, an innovative generative AI company, or its principal funder – tech giant Microsoft.
U.S.’s advantage in the AI race
The U.S. has a clear advantage in the race to become an AI superpower. First of all, more than half of top-tier AI researchers work at a U.S. institution and second, U.S. tech giants such as IBM and Microsoft are among the largest AI and machine learning (ML) patent owners. As such, the U.S. is ranked as the country with the highest readiness to implement AI in the public sector, with an average score of 85.48 out of 100, scoring particularly high in the categories of AI vision and AI governance and ethics. The United States’ ongoing rivalry with China is portrayed in the race for supremacy in technology. Despite its growth and great strides to improve innovation, China still does not possess the capacities of the United States when it comes to fostering innovation and promoting funding. The number of deals made in Asia does indicate the possibility of a more leveled playing field between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Secondly, the Chinese Academy of Sciences is the Chinese institution with the most AI/ML patents, falling just shortly behind Microsoft.
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Research expert covering technology in the Nordics, AI and smart cities