The 2023 Stanford AI Index Report Reveals Key Industry Trends

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Blog Summary
The blog post provides insights from the 2023 Stanford AI Index Report, emphasizing its role in assessing AI's impact and trends globally, with a focus on collaborations, investments, and public perceptions.

Key Points Overview

  1. The AI Index Report covers various facets of AI, including research, technical performance, policy, and social impact.
  2. Quid's collaboration with Stanford's HAI team contributed valuable insights on AI investments, mentions in earnings calls, and public sentiment analysis.
  3. The report highlights significant changes in AI over the past years, including increased publications, technical advancements, and geopolitical collaborations.

Top Takeaways

  1. AI's influence extends beyond laboratory settings, with rising publications, technical advancements, and increased investment, indicating its tangible impact on society.
  2. Despite AI's progress, there are persistent misperceptions, emphasizing the need for cautious engagement due to potential errors, biases, and limitations.
  3. Surprising findings include increased China-US AI research collaborations, a decrease in AI investments in 2022, and divergent public opinions across countries.
  4. Quid's insights reveal the dominance of the US in AI investments, with notable trends in sectors like healthcare and geographical priorities in investment.
  5. Future trends suggest a trajectory of larger and more proficient AI models, driven by data abundance, with evolving investment dynamics shaping the competitive landscape.

The blog underscores the importance of the AI Index Report in understanding AI's evolving landscape and its implications for various sectors. It highlights the need for informed decision-making and continued monitoring to navigate the complexities of AI advancements.

Call to Action
Readers are encouraged to explore the 2023 Stanford AI Index Report for a comprehensive understanding of AI trends and to leverage resources like Quid for navigating the evolving AI landscape effectively.

AI has become a force that impacts most of our lives in some way, and the AI Index measures and evaluates the rapid rate of AI’s advancement. The Stanford AI Index Report is a comprehensive report that helps leaders and decision-makers take meaningful action to advance AI responsibly and ethically with humans in mind. Its cross-industry approach analyzes and distills patterns about AI’s impact on everything from national economies to jobs, ethics, policy, and research. Quid interviewed its Research Manager and Editor in Chief, Nestor Maslej, to extract a few quick takeaways from the 2023 report below.

This year, the AI Index Report includes numerous sections spanning all aspects of AI: research + development, technical performance and ethics, AI policy + governance, the economy + education, and more. Quid is proud to once again be a Supporting Partner in the annual AI Index Report. 

Members of our Quid team, Nicole Seredenko and Bill Valle, collaborated with Stanford’s HAI team to bring valuable insights into this year’s AI Index Report. Specifically, we provided data and insights on trends across:

  • AI-related investments from Quid’s Companies dataset of over 9 million public and private companies (Chapter 4.2)
  • Mentions of AI from Quid’s dataset of earnings call transcript data from Fortune 500 companies throughout the year 2022 (Chapter 4.3)
  • Social conversation around AI, in general, to understand consumer/public attitude towards AI from January to December 2022, looking at 2.74 million social media posts from Quid’s vast set of consumer intelligence data (Chapter 8.2)

The creation of the AI Index Report is an independent initiative at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). The initiative is led by the AI Index Steering Committee, an interdisciplinary group of experts from across academia and industry. Its goal is to be the world’s most credible and authoritative source for data and insights about AI. The AI Index provides unbiased, rigorously vetted, and globally sourced data for policymakers, researchers, journalists, executives, and the general public to develop a deeper understanding of the complex field of AI.

We interviewed Nestor Maslej, Research Manager and Editor in Chief at Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered AI for a preview of the 2023 Report and to offer some additional context for readers. His responses have been summarized below.

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the AI space in the past three years or so? 

AI is no longer just a laboratory tool, and it’s starting to have a tangible effect on our lives. The report shows that AI publications are increasing, technical performance is improving, and investment is on an upward trend. Policymakers are also talking more about AI every year. 

In 2022, generative AI broke into the public consciousness with models like ChatGPT, DALL-E 2, and Stable Diffusion. AI has gone from being a science fair project to something that impacts all of our lives. We need to collectively consider how we want to engage with this new technology.

There seem to be quite a few misperceptions about AI—what it can do, what it can’t do, and where we’re headed. What should we stay mindful of here?

AI is impressive, but it still has room for improvement, particularly in reasoning and planning tasks. It’s still far from perfect and models can still be prone to error, bias, and hallucination. While it’s important to recognize the evolving capabilities of AI, we should be generally mindful of how we’re engaging with these tools

Are there surprises in this year’s report for the informed AI reader with a ‘better than basic’ understanding of the space? 

There are. One of them is that despite geopolitical tensions, AI research collaborations between China and the US have increased from 2020 to 2021. Another surprise is that in 2022, AI investment decreased for the first time in a decade, although this could be due to broader economic trends. 

There’s also interesting data on how sharply AI public opinions can vary, with significant differences on a country-by-country basis. For example, 78% of Chinese respondents agreed that AI products and services have more benefits than drawbacks, compared to only 35% of sampled Americans. And this is addressed in Chapter 8, which is a new chapter of the report

Can you share some insight regarding AI-related investments that Quid helped your team uncover?

According to insights generated by Quid, the US leads the world in AI-related investments with $47.4 billion invested in 2022, and nearly twice as many newly funded AI companies as the EU and UK combined, and 3.4 times more than China. 

Medical and healthcare, data management processing in cloud, and fintech were the areas that saw the greatest investments, with amounts detailed in the report. And there are interesting geography-related trends in focus areas, with each country having different private investment priorities, such as drone technology in the US and semiconductors in China.

Can you share some overarching trends that help us look to the future of AI?

The trend in AI models is that they are becoming increasingly bigger and better, with their rate of improvement increasing exponentially. Companies like OpenAI, Anthropic, Google, and Meta are increasingly building bigger systems, and these systems tend to perform better on a variety of tasks. 

The approach of bigger is better has mostly been done with language models, but in the last year it has also been translated into the domain of speech recognition systems—and it’s a pretty big deal. 

OpenAI released Whisper, a speech recognition model that performs well on various tasks without pre-training using supervised learning but requiring fine-tuning. It appears that the key takeaway is that AI models can do really good things by giving them a bunch of data. The amount of data in the world is increasing, and data is king. 

On the investment side, it remains to be seen if investment levels in AI will bounce back. The competitive dynamics in the AI world are changing and evolving as these systems become increasingly competent.

And with a solution like Quid available to help, keeping pace with these evolving technologies is a little less daunting—but certainly something that requires consistent monitoring and analysis regardless. 

Be sure to read the 2023 Stanford University AI Index Report, now in its sixth year, for an in-depth exploration of the state of AI spanning a wide variety of industries, as well as the opportunities and challenges on the horizon. And reach out to Quid to learn more about how we can help you find your place in our rapidly changing AI-powered world.