Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a new technological and scientific field that studies and develops theories, methodologies, technologies, and applications to simulate, extend, and expand human intelligence. AI can also be called “machine intelligence,” referring to intelligence shown by human-made machines. That is, AI is a technology that displays human intelligence through computer programming.
The Global AI Index compiled by the consulting company Tortoise in 2020 ranked 54 countries around the world according to seven indicator sub-pillars: Talent (AI talents employed by the public and private sectors), Infrastructure (including the basics such as the internet, electricity, and computing capabilities), Operating Environment (public initiatives and information availability), Research (research capabilities in applying AI), Development (capacities of developing new technologies and patents for AI-related products), Government Strategy (commitments to invest in and policies related to AI industry) and Commercial Environment (including market size, funding, and the industry environment).
In 2020, the Index placed the U.S. at the top spot, followed by China and the U.K. Canada ranked fourth, and Germany was one place behind. Countries occupying sixth to tenth place are shown in the figure above. The U.S. topped the chart because they were ranked first in four sub-pillars: Talent, Infrastructure, Research, and Commercial Environment. China ranked second, led the world in Development and Government Strategy, while the U.K., in third place, had the best Operating Environment.
Regional analysis shows that two countries in the Americas were ranked among the top five, including the U.S. (1st) and Canada (4th). Four countries in Europe were ranked in the top ten, including the U.K. (3rd), Germany (5th), France (6th), and Ireland (10th). Asia-Pacific countries that were in the top ten include Singapore (7th), South Korea (8th), and Japan (9th). Taiwan earned 30th place in the chart, scoring high in Infrastructure (11th) and Government Strategy (15th) but only ranked 51st in Operating Environment, which was less than ideal.