Artificial intelligence has exploded in the past few years, with dozens of AI startups and major AI initiatives by big name firms alike. The New York Times estimates there are 45 AI firms working on chips alone, not to mention the dozens of AI software companies working on machine learning, deep learning and AI projects.
AI is driving significant investment from venture capitalist firms, giant firms like Microsoft and Google, academic research, and job openings across a multitude of sectors. All of this is documented in the AI Index, produced by Stanford University's Human-Centered AI Institute.
For example, from January 2015 to January 2018, the number of active AI startups increased 113%, while all active startups increased just 28%. "For the most part, growth in all active startups has remained relatively steady, while the number of AI startups has seen exponential growth," wrote the report's authors.
Another key measure, job openings, has accelerated in the AI space. While machine learning is the largest skill cited as a requirement, deep learning is growing at the fastest rate: from 2015 to 2017 the number of job openings requiring deep learning increased 34-fold, the report states.
Consulting giant Accenture believes AI has the potential to boost rates of profitability by an average of 38 percentage points and could lead to an economic boost of US$14 trillion in additional gross value added (GVA) by 2035.
In truth, artificial intelligence holds a plethora of possibilities – and risks. “It will have a huge economic impact but also change society, and it's hard to make strong predictions, but clearly job markets will be affected,” said Yoshua Bengio, a professor at the University of Montreal, and head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms.
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