The UK has been knocked from the top spot of a global ranking of countries whose governments are ready to capitalise on artificial intelligence technologies in public services. The UK was narrowly beaten to the number one position by Singapore in this year's Government AI Readiness Index, which the ranking's authors described as a "timely reminder of the ongoing inequality of access to AI". This is the second time the ranking has been produced, with the UK having topped the leaderboard in the first iteration in 2017. Technology consultancy Oxford Insights and the Canadian government-sponsored International Development Research Centre said the 2019 Government AI Readiness Index should prompt governments to "act to ensure that global inequalities are not further entrenched or exacerbated by AI". Unsurprisingly, the upper echelons of the ranking were dominated by higher-income countries with strong economies.
The Government Artificial Intelligence (AI) Readiness Index, compiled by Oxford Insights and the International Development Research Centre, ranks the governments of 194 nations according to how prepared they are to utilise AI in the provision of public services. According to global consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCooper, AI technologies are forecast to add an additional $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, with $6.6 trillion to come from an increase in productivity and $9.1 trillion from consumption-side effects. The score that Oxford Insights provides for each country comprises of 11 input metrics grouped under four high-level topics: governance; infrastructure and data; skills and education; and government public services. On a global level, the top ranking countries (and their scores) were: Singapore (9.186), The likes of India (7.515) and China (7.37) were ranked 17th and 20th respectively.
The UK is first in our rankings, reflecting its world-leading centres for AI research and strong technology industry. Although the UK has great starting conditions for AI development, it faces stiff competition from other countries seeking to be top of the global rankings. China, the US, Russia and Canada have all announced plans to be world leaders in AI. If the UK wishes to retain its high ranking in our capacity index, the government will need to continue to invest in order to remain competitive in future years.
Late last year I described how the US was losing the technology arms race, particularly as it applies to artificial intelligence (AI) and China. The US is competing in the FINTECH arms race and is struggling here as well. FINTECH methods, tools and techniques include cryptocurrency, blockchain, insurtech, smart contracts, Regtech, robo-advisors, cybersecurity, open banking and underbanked services. But three of these are foundational to FINTECH adoption: artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and cryptocurrency. Let's look at these three and how well (or badly) countries are faring in the FINTECH arms race as measured by their investments in, and adoption of, these three FINTECH technology baskets, as well as their investments in the readiness of their national digital infrastructures.
The race to become the global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) has officially begun. In the past fifteen months, Canada, Japan, Singapore, China, the UAE, Finland, Denmark, France, the UK, the EU Commission, South Korea, and India have all released strategies to promote the use and development of AI. No two strategies are alike, with each focusing on different aspects of AI policy: scientific research, talent development, skills and education, public and private sector adoption, ethics and inclusion, standards and regulations, and data and digital infrastructure. It also highlights relevant policies and initiatives that the countries have announced since the release of their initial strategies. I plan to continuously update this article as new strategies and initiatives are announced. If a country or policy is missing (or if something in the summary is incorrect), please leave a comment and I will update the article as soon as possible.