Stanford University

The AI Index

Ground the conversation about AI in data


The AI Index tracks, collates, distills, and visualizes data relating to artificial intelligence.

We measure and evaluate the rapid rate of AI advancement, enabling leaders and decision makers to take meaningful action to advance AI responsibly and ethically with humans in mind.

The 2021 AI Index Report

This year’s AI Index is one of the most comprehensive reports about AI to date. Similar to past iterations, the AI Index takes a cross-industry approach, analyzing and distilling patterns about AI’s impact on everything from national economies to job growth, diversity, and research.

AI Investment in drug design and discovery increased significantly

“‘Drugs, Cancer, Molecular, Drug Discovery’ received the greatest amount of private AI investment in 2020, with more than USD 13.8 billion, 4.5 times higher than 2019.”

The industry shift continues

“In 2019, 65% of graduating North American PhDs in AI went into industry—up from 44.4% in 2010, highlighting the greater role industry has begun to play in AI development.”

Generative everything

“AI systems can now compose text, audio, and images to a sufficiently high standard that humans have a hard time telling the difference between synthetic and non-synthetic outputs for some constrained applications of the technology.” The figure shows the progress in STL-10, a benchmark for image generation.

AI has a diversity challenge

“In 2019, 45%new U.S. resident AI PhD graduates were white—by comparison, 2.4% were African American and 3.2% were Hispanic.”

China overtakes the US in AI journal citations

“After surpassing the US in the total number of journal publications several years ago, China now also leads in journal citations; however, the US has consistently (and significantly) more AI conference papers (which are also more heavily cited) than China over the last decade.”

The majority of the US AI PhD grads are from abroad—and they’re staying in the US

“The percentage of international students among new AI PhDs in North America continued to rise in 2019, to 64.3%—a 4.3% increase from 2018. Among foreign graduates, 81.8% stayed in the US and 8.6% have taken jobs outside the US.”

Surveillance technologies are fast, cheap, and increasingly ubiquitous

“The technologies necessary for large-scale surveillance are rapidly maturing, with techniques for image classification, face recognition, video analysis, and voice identification all seeing significant progress in 2020.”
The figure shows the progress in the top-1 accuracy of the ImageNet challenge, a benchmark for image classification.

AI ethics lacks benchmarks and consensus

“… the field generally lacks benchmarks that can be used to measure or assess the relationship between broader societal discussions about technology development and the development of the technology itself. Furthermore, researchers and civil society view AI ethics as more important than industrial organizations.”

AI has gained the attention of the U.S. Congress

“The 116th Congress is the most AI-focused congressional session in history with the number of mentions of AI in congressional record more than triple that of the 115th Congress.”


The 2021 AI Index: Major Growth Despite The Pandemic

This year’s report shows a maturing industry, significant private investment, and rising competition between China and the U.S.

How has COVID affected the AI Economy?

The AI Index finds that despite the pandemic’s economic hit, AI investment and hiring increased.

AI Index Diversity Report: An Unmoving Needle

Stanford HAI’s 2021 AI Index reveals stalled progress in diversifying AI and a scarcity of the data needed to fix it.

State of AI in 10 Charts

What happened in 2020 in AI education, hiring, policy, investment, and other sectors? Here are the most important details from HAI’s new AI Index.

AI Report: Competition Grows Between China and the U.S.

Trends in AI-focused research, talent, and funding make clear opportunities for global competition — and potential collaboration.

Stanford University