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Increase in startups, patents and research related to AI in India: ISB Report

Artificial Intelligence startups comprised 7.5% of all startups in 2019 compared to a meager 0.68%  in 2000, a new study by the Indian School of Business said.

The study, “Artificial Intelligence Index 2021 Annual Report“, looked into the adoption of this technology in the country in the categories of research and development, employment, growth of startups, public perception and so on. It found that “a higher percentage increase in the growth of AI startups (3.62 per cent to 7.18 per cent – doubled) is observed from 2015-2017 and it remained constant thereafter.

Funding to AI startups in India increased by 97.27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in 2019. The value increased to $233 million in 2019 compared $20 million in 2013, the report said. “The proportion of total funding in AI startups to other startups in India increased steadily from 0.28 in 2013 to 1.54 in 2019,” it said.

Globally, the US led with 39% AI funding value, followed by China at 11% and the UK at 7%t, the report said quoting a report by Emerging Tech Brew 2019. Some of the AI companies that had received substantial funding include Accel Robotics, PerceptiLabs and Augtera Networks.

For data regarding AI startups, the report utilised Crunchbase’s platform.


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Research publications have increased from India

Between 2000 to 2019, India witnessed a 25% CAGR or nearly 100 times in the number of publications related to AI. In 2019, India published 9,887 pieces of AI research compared to 10,000 publications published entirely between 2000 and 2018.

The report also found that there has been an increase in the numb er collaborations in AI research and development between Indian and international authors. Between 2010 and 2019, Indian authors had maximum collaborators with those from United States of America, it said.

“Over 1666 Indian authors collaborated with 1399 US authors on various AI publications. 425 Indian authors collaborated with 341 UK authors, and 366 Indian authors collaborated with 288 Singaporean authors on different AI-related publications,” the report said.

India lagging when it comes to AI patents

The report said that India lacks behind globally in the creation of new technologies in the AI domain, despite a significant temporal increase in the number of patents filed in the country. The share of AI patents out of total patents filed grew to only 1.57% in 2020 from 0.02% in 2011.

The analysis by region shows that Chennai accounts for the largest share of AI patent filing, and its share increased from 40% in 2011 to almost 59% in 2020. The share of publications in Delhi (22%) and Mumbai (17%) grew in the past decade, while the share of AI patent fillings in the Kolkata region reduced significantly from around 40% in 2000 to 2.5% in 2020, the report said.

AI jobs fluctuating

The ISB report analysed data from January 2019 to March 2020 and found that there was a fluctuation in AI jobs from 1.8% in April 2019 to 1.9% in December 2019. Looking at a month-on month trend, the proportion of AI jobs in February and March 2020 saw an increase when compared to the same time period in the previous year.

Karnataka led with the maximum number of AI startups (356), followed by Maharashtra (215) and erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh (111) in 2019. On the other end, the ecosystem in states such as Bihar, Goa, J&K, Jharkhand, Puducherry, and Uttarakhand lacks the presence of any AI startups.

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The report said that AI job postings across all job roles in 2019 was the highest in Karnataka, accounting for 36790 jobs, 41% of the total AI jobs posted in India. The  other states: Maharashtra: 23% (20,162), Haryana:12% (10344), Delhi: 7% (6,270), and Tamil Nadu: 7% (5,870) of total AI jobs, the report added.

“There is an indication of regionally skewed progress and development with the increasing demand for AI-related jobs in the metro cities. The patent filings are also limited to metro cities, as observed in the previous module. Wider distribution of interest and knowledge in the AI domain is necessary to achieve a complete integration and digital transformation across India,” the ISB report said.

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