The 2022 AI Index: Industrialization of AI and Mounting Ethical Concerns

Blog by Daniel Zhang, Jack Clark, and Ray Perrault: “The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is at a critical crossroad, according to the 2022 AI Index, an annual study of AI impact and progress at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) led by an independent and interdisciplinary group of experts from across academia and industry: 2021 saw the globalization and industrialization of AI intensify, while the ethical and regulatory issues of these technologies multiplied….

The new report shows several key advances in AI in 2021: 

  • Private investment in AI has more than doubled since 2020, in part due to larger funding rounds. In 2020, there were four funding rounds worth $500 million or more; in 2021, there were 15.
  • AI has become more affordable and higher performing. The cost to train an image classification has decreased by 63.6% and training times have improved by 94.4% since 2018. The median price of robotic arms has also decreased fourfold in the past six years.
  • The United States and China have dominated cross-country research collaborations on AI as the total number of AI publications continues to grow. The two countries had the greatest number of cross-country collaborations in AI papers in the last decade, producing 2.7 times more joint papers in 2021 than between the United Kingdom and China—the second highest on the list.
  • The number of AI patents filed has soared—more than 30 times higher than in 2015, showing a compound annual growth rate of 76.9%.

At the same time, the report also highlights growing research and concerns on ethical issues as well as regulatory interests associated with AI in 2021: 

  • Large language and multimodal language-vision models are excelling on technical benchmarks, but just as their performance increases, so do their ethical issues, like the generation of toxic text.
  • Research on fairness and transparency in AI has exploded since 2014, with a fivefold increase in publications on related topics over the past four years.
  • Industry has increased its involvement in AI ethics, with 71% more publications affiliated with industry at top conferences from 2018 to 2021. 
  • The United States has seen a sharp increase in the number of proposed bills related to AI; lawmakers proposed 130 laws in 2021, compared with just 1 in 2015. However, the number of bills passed remains low, with only 2% ultimately becoming law in the past six years.
  • Globally, AI regulation continues to expand. Since 2015, 18 times more bills related to AI were passed into law in legislatures of 25 countries around the world and mentions of AI in legislative proceedings also grew 7.7 times in the past six years….(More)”