Dutch AI ecosystem

The Netherlands emerges as a rising star in Global AI Index; ranks ahead of Germany, France, Australia

The Netherlands once again shows its progress when it comes to the adoption of AI in business, government and society. The WRR report on AI last month said that the Dutch government “needs to up its ambitions” and it definitely seems like the country is on the right track now. Ranked 8th on the Global AI Index, the Netherlands is showing its seriousness for the adoption of AI.

The Netherlands ranks ahead of Germany, France, Australia and India

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that transformative technology that will leave its impact on a number of businesses. The biggest impact of AI will come in the form of a society that will be completely transformed in a couple of years time. However, the technology is also widely misunderstood and not every country is racing to adopt AI.

The Netherlands, however, is not only adopting AI but is fundamentally trying to see how AI can be woven in the fabric of its society. The Global AI Index benchmarking nations on their level of investment, innovation and implementation of AI shows the Netherlands is on the right path. With an overall rank of 8th, the country known for canals and tulip fields is ahead of Germany, France, Australia and India.

With an overall score of 36.35, the Netherlands is not that far from catching Singapore and South Korea, ranked 6th and 7th respectively on the Global AI Index. The Global AI Index is trying to make sense of AI and its deployment in 62 countries around the world. The study looks at development in AI through three pillars of analysis – investment, innovation and implementation.

When it comes to implementation, the Global AI Index looks at talent, infrastructure and operating environment. The innovation pillar looks at research and development while the investment pillar looks at government strategy and commercial use.

The Netherlands is an AI talent hub

The Global AI Index paints a clear picture of how the Netherlands is a hub for AI talent. With a rank of 6th and a score of 33.83, the country is behind only the USA, India, the UK, Singapore and Israel. It ranks 9th on infrastructure and 10th on operating environment. While it lags on research with a ranking of 15th, the country remedies that shortcoming by ranking 8th on development.

This ranking further amplifies the point made by the WRR report, which not only defined AI as a system technology but also suggested the Dutch government explore “how AI can be embedded within the society”. The Global AI Index released by Tortoise Media further highlights the need for governance and faster adoption of technology at the government level.

While the Netherlands seems to be doing well on the implementation and innovation front of AI, it is losing on the investment front. The study shows the Netherlands ranks only 33rd on government strategy and 18th on commercial strategy. On the government strategy front, the Netherlands is behind Luxembourg, Lithuania and Belgium.

It is also behind South Korea, Belgium and Hong Kong when it comes to the commercial deployment of AI and associated technologies. The Global AI Index makes one thing abundantly clear – the Netherlands is a “rising star” among all the AI-fuelled economies in the world. However, it has its work cut out to not only join traditional champions like Germany, Canada, France and India but eventually catch up to the USA and China to become a power player.

The Global AI Index: what you need to know

The Global AI Index was first released in 2019 as a way to rank countries based on their capacity for AI. The index measures levels of investment, innovation and implementation to rank 62 countries around the world. Since the release of the original report, Tortoise Media has expanded the scope of the report looking at talent, infrastructure, operating environment, research, development, commercial ventures and government strategy.

Apart from these parameters, the report also looks at the national ecosystem on which the creation and use of AI depends. The report also factors in public debate, media hysteria and political contention surrounding artificial intelligence. In a nutshell, the report aims to establish the “capacity for artificial intelligence” for each country.

It starts by looking at the availability of skilled practitioners for the provision of AI solutions in a country. It is then broken down into categories such as number of AI meetups, the proportion of total number of AI engineers on LinkedIn from a given country, and the existing number of AI engineers on LinkedIn to name a few. These parameters are weighted and an overall score is given to each country.

For infrastructure, the report looks at the reliability and scale of access infrastructure available. This includes everything from electricity, internet to supercomputing capabilities. The report also focuses on the regulatory environment and public opinion surrounding artificial intelligence. These three elements form the basis of the implementation of AI by a country.

When it comes to innovation, the report looks at research by focusing on the extent of specialist research and researchers in the country. It also focuses on the development of “fundamental platforms and algorithms upon which innovative artificial intelligence projects rely”.

The report also highlights the need for government strategy and commercial approach and classifies them under-investment. The government strategy pillar looks at the commitment from the national government to AI by focusing on spending commitments and national strategies. It also looks at the level of startup activity, investment and business initiatives in the field of AI.

The Global AI Index ranks the United States of America at the top thanks to its leadership in talent, research, development and commercial strategy. It is followed by China, which ranks numero uno for infrastructure, while the UK ranks third on the list. Canada, Israel, Singapore, South Korea, The Netherlands, Germany, and France round out the top 10 list.

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Editorial Staff

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