Artificial Intelligence: where is the innovation?

Henri Egle Sorotos, August 15, 2018 2 min read

These days, almost all conversation about the future of work inevitably turns to AI. People want to know how new technologies are changing the role of humans in the workplace. For the next couple of weeks, I’m working in Texas with US data startup to understand where global AI innovation is taking place, and who’s powering it.

Since the launch of the Tech Nation Report, we have had a deep relationship with the great folks at Using their platform, we’ve made a commitment to open up the data procured by our insights team wherever legally possible. Our open data repositories can be found here.

Mapping AI

After dipping our toe in the water a couple of months ago, open data has been a thorough success for us, with over 12,000 views on the Tech Nation Report data repository on It’s because of this success that we chose to partner with on our latest project, exploring global AI communities. Partly due to the exponential growth in the area, there is a real dearth of information on AI innovation. I’m working intensively for two weeks to do the following:

  • Locate and benchmark the clusters of AI globally
  • Identify the key components of these clusters
  • Analyse the communities powering innovation in these hotspots
  • Explore how this is impacting the development of emerging technologies

It’s only my second day in Austin, but things are moving quickly. We already have some great data from Stack Overflow and Meetup which highlights community activity across the globe. I’ve been able to extract every AI question posted on Stack Overflow, and identify the location, date and profile of the user posing the question. I’m also keen to delve into Segment Fault – the Chinese developer forum, although there is a Chinese community on Stack Overflow. The next step will be some Natural Language Processing to examine the content of the posts to identify themes.

AI hype?

In the current tech climate, AI is considered very ‘sexy’ – it seems everyone wants a slice of the action. Yet, some technology is being passed off as Artificial Intelligence based, when it really isn’t. Given this, I am keen to separate the hype from the substance in the AI world using the data we are obtaining. This will also form part of the work plan.

Most excitingly, all of this data is being made open, and will be available for use by anyone who wants to get involved with it. If you have any ideas for analysis or policies, please do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

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