India lags behind in AI research as China & The West surge ahead

If you’ve been wondering about the state of significant AI research in India, considering all the media buzz around the subject, then you’re not alone. While AI has been making headlines for right and wrong reasons alike, the Global AI Talent Pool Report 2018 states that out of 220,000 PhD educated AI researchers globally, only 386 or so are Indian. Those are grim figures.

While the methodology of the research (the data source being LinkedIn) is debatable, what seems to concretize the findings somewhat is data from Scopus, a citation database, that points to a low number of citable documents from India on AI as compared to China and many other Western nations.

The NITI Aayog’s ‘National Strategy For Artificial Intelligence’ paper, published in June 2018, also tells us that out of the 2.6 million STEM graduates that India produces every year, very few go into research and innovation and even fewer tackle AI.

India risks playing catch up going forward in a world that will be increasingly dominated by AI – even while having the opportunity and resources to compete at the highest echelons, globally. Both the government and the private sector must get its act together.

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