Charting the Emerging Geography of AI

Article by Bhaskar Chakravorti, Ajay Bhalla, and Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi: “Given the high stakes of this race, which countries are in the lead? Which are gaining on the leaders? How might this hierarchy shape the future of AI? Identifying AI-leading countries is not straightforward, as data, knowledge, algorithms, and models can, in principle, cross borders. Even the U.S.–China rivalry is complicated by the fact that AI researchers from the two countries cooperate — and more so than researchers from any other pair of countries. Open-source models are out there for everyone to use, with licensing accessible even for cutting-edge models. Nonetheless, AI development benefits from scale economies and, as a result, is geographically clustered as many significant inputs are concentrated and don’t cross borders that easily….

Rapidly accumulating pools of data in digital economies around the world are clearly one of the critical drivers of AI development. In 2019, we introduced the idea of “gross data product” of countries determined by the volume, complexity, and accessibility of data consumed alongside the number of active internet users in the country. For this analysis, we recognized that gross data product is an essential asset for AI development — especially for generative AI, which requires massive, diverse datasets — and updated the 2019 analyses as a foundation, adding drivers that are critical for AI development overall. That essential data layer makes the index introduced here distinct from other indicators of AI “vibrancy” or measures of global investments, innovations, and implementation of AI…(More)”.