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India among the top ten countries for AI specialists

India ranks 9th in the number of AI specialists with 555 AI talents in the country, according to a report.

The annual report released by the Canadian start-up Element AI revealed that there were around 22,400 people worldwide as AI top talents. The report is based on population working in the AI field.

The report noted that 50% belonged to the US with 10,295 people. China came in second with 2,525 people. The UK, Germany, and Canada follow with 1,475, 935, and 815 AI specialists respectively.

While analysing the talent that comes back to the domestic country after studying abroad, India possesses a high percentage of the same with 25% AI talents returning to the country.

The report said that its research relied on three main data sources. Firstly, it reviewed the publications from 21 leading scientific conferences in the field of AI and analysed the profiles of the authors. Secondly, it studied the results of several targeted LinkedIn searches, and finally, it analysed outside reports and other secondary sources to put its findings in context and better understand the talent pool in a rapidly changing global AI landscape.

The report noted that the AI talent pool is highly mobile, with about one-third of researchers working for an employer based in a country that was different from the country where they received their Ph.D.

Over the last few years, India’s public and private industries have been transforming their core functions to rely more heavily on AI technologies to improve the quality of services and reduce costs.

In this year’s interim budget (2019-20), the government allocated IN ₹93,848 crores (approximately US $13.15 billion) to the education sector, which is 3.3% of the total budget expenditure.

Although there was no clear budgetary allocation plan, a part of the finance is set toward implementing AI courses in schools. The Minister of Corporate Affairs said that the government plans for a National Programme on Artificial Intelligence, which will be catalysed by the establishment of the National Centre on Artificial Intelligence as a hub, along with other Centres of Excellence (CoE).

Also, the Indian educational board CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) decided to introduce AI as an elective subject. The CBSE has 20,299 schools in India and 220 schools in 25 other countries affiliated to it.

Apart from education, the government is trying to push for AI adoption in other fields as well. For instance, India’s policy commission (NITI Aayog) released a discussion paper detailing the uses of AI tech in smart cities to transform public facilities, crowd management, intelligent safety systems, and to prevent cyber-attacks.

The government is also looking to invest more in AI. Last month, NITI Aayog circulated a cabinet note to provide almost US $1.7 billion for the establishment of AIRAWAT (Artificial Intelligence Research, Analytics and knoWledge Assimilation plaTform), a cloud computing platform.

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