Data and Research

Mapping Artificial Intelligence – global AI is gathering pace

Data Analytics & Cybersecurity , , ,

Henri Egle SorotosHenri Egle Sorotos, October 4, 2018

The global AI economy is just starting to boom. Despite reports claiming AI business has enjoyed years of significant growth, our new research reveals the real economic benefits and technological revolution are just beginning, and the UK is one of a number of important global players.

This summer, I spent a month in the US crunching numbers on the global AI economy as part of a joint project with data.world. Under the sweltering Texan sun, I analysed the makeup of innovators, influencers and businesses. What’s been created is a global picture of AI innovation – a unique take on the area presented as never seen before.  

Read the report here >

Research was split into two discrete sections. The first examined the levels of AI business across the international ecosystem. The second delved into the online and face-to-face communities of AI practitioners. The results in short:

  • The USA is home to almost 3,000 high-growth AI tech businesses, the largest ecosystem globally.
  • By number of equity deals, the UK is the second busiest AI investment market. A total of 1,179 deals have been closed in the UK, second to the USA, where 7,658 deals have been completed.
  • This research reveals clearly that Israel and China are serious players. These are highly developed late-stage AI ecosystems, with median company revenue above £12.5m. Both countries boast more mature ecosystems compared to the UK’s startup-focussed market.
  • AI equity deals are increasing in prominence. Over the past 10 years, 70% of AI deals have taken place in the last 3. This compares to 47% in tech as a whole.  
  • The term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is now ubiquitous in the global tech media. 43% of online tech media mentions AI.  
  • 3.2% of tech meetups exist to serve the needs of some form of AI. Yet, only 0.03% of questions posed on Stack Overflow – a free and highly-utilised question and answer forum for developers – ask for assistance on Artificial Intelligence-related queries.

The work comes at a time of intense AI media activity. What I have tried to do is bring clarity to an ever changing picture.  

The Magical Methodology

Bringing clarity to such a complex landscape was a challenge and required some fancy pants web-based data and analytics to provide an accurate and up-to-date picture. Intelligence from Pitchbook, Google Trends and Asgard provided timely and granular insights on the global AI business landscape. Meetup.com and the online tech forum Stack Overflow were provided information on global AI communities.

I would thoroughly recommend using Stack Overflow data for a research project – it’s fab. Stack Exchange, the company behind Stack Overflow, have a brilliant SQL compiler which allows anyone to search data on any of their platforms. This can be anything from language used in questions and answers, timestamps, tags or even user information. By comparison, data from meetup.com is accessed via their open API. I did this using cURL and R.

Read the report here >

Great news. All data featured in this project is available online for non-commercial use by third parties. The data can be accessed through the data.world platform. If you use the data, please let us know. We would love to showcase your work. A full methodology can be found on the data.world too.

If you’d like know why we are doing this, check out our blog.