Leading U.S. companies are investing in the broad research field of artificial intelligence (AI), but where, specifically, are they making these investments? This data brief provides an analysis of the research papers published by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft over the past decade to better understand what work their labs are prioritizing, and the degree to which these companies have similar or different research agendas overall. The authors find that major “AI companies” are often focused on very different subfields within AI, and that the private sector may be failing to make research investments consistent with ensuring long-term national competitiveness.
Corporate investors are a significant player in the U.S. AI startup ecosystem, funding 71 percent of top U.S. AI startups. The authors analyze the trends in top corporate funders and the startups receiving corporate money.
Based on news coverage alone, it can seem as if corporations dominate the research on artificial intelligence and machine learning when compared to the work of universities and academia. Authors Simon Rodriguez, Tim Hwang and Rebecca Gelles analyze the data over the past decade of research publications and find that, in fact, universities are the more dominant producers of AI papers. They also find that while corporations do tend to generate more citations to the work they publish in the field, these “high performing” papers are most frequently cross-collaborations with university labs.
Many factors influence where U.S. tech multinational corporations decide to conduct their global artificial intelligence research and development (R&D). Company AI labs are spread all over the world, especially in North America, Europe and Asia. But in contrast to AI labs, most company AI staff remain concentrated in the United States. Roxanne Heston and Remco Zwetsloot explain where these companies conduct AI R&D, why they select particular locations, and how they establish their presence there. The report is accompanied by a new open-source dataset of more than 60 AI R&D labs run by these companies worldwide.
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