Artificial intelligence is one of the most revolutionary technologies of our time, which is advancing as each day goes by. AI labs contribute to these advancements by housing scientists and researchers under one roof to study this disruptive technology for further developments. While there are quite a few AI labs across the globe, artificial intelligence researchers go perplexed when people ask them to rate the top labs in the world. And rightfully so, because they’re all unique in the way they work.
While every lab focuses on different domains of artificial intelligence, commercial AI labs like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, the U.S Big Tech, have set up dedicated AI labs too. There’s also DeepMind by Google’s parent company Alphabet and OpenAI, which has Elon Musk as a founding investor. These are the obvious contenders in the top AI labs ranking.
At one of CNBC’s conferences, when Mark Riedl, associate professor at the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing was asked to pick his standouts, he said promptly, “Wow, I hate this question.” He further added, “Reputationally, there is a good argument to say DeepMind, OpenAI, and FAIR (Facebook AI research) are the top three.”
Another AI expert (who requested to remain anonymous due to lack of approval from his company to speak publicly) told that DeepMind, OpenAI, and FAIR were probably the top three pure AI research labs as their fundings is known while IBM has the reputation to push out more patents. “The unknown question is the Baidu’s and Tencent’s of the world”, he said, talking about the Chinese technology companies whose activities are rather secret.
Google’s parent company Alphabet gives DeepMind hundreds of millions of dollars each year to conduct research, while Microsoft has invested $1 billion in OpenAI apart from the $1 billion it received from the founding investors. While these fundings are known, FAIR’s funding is unknown because Facebook doesn’t reveal it clearly.
The Power Of Artificial Intelligence
AlphaGo is DeepMind’s best-known AI which defeated the best human players in the world at the ancient Chinese board game, Go. The program gained so much attraction that Netflix made a documentary that talks about AlphaGo’s victory over South Korean Go legend Lee Sedol. After this renowned success, the company is now shifting its focus to using AI to solve humanity’s biggest scientific problems. This attempt had a breakthrough last year in a biological field called protein folding.
Open AI has developed game-playing AI software that can defeat humans at games like Dota II. But instead of this, Open AI caught more eyeballs for its AI text generator GPT-3 and its fancy AI image generator Dall-E.
On the other hand, FAIR doesn’t have an AI that’s as famous as AlphaGo or a GPT-3. But what FAIR has to its name is several published academic papers on areas that relate to Facebook like computer vision, natural language processing, and conversational AI.
Publishing academic papers at two of the biggest AI conferences, NeurIPS and ICML is one way to measure the impact of an AI lab. In 2020, Google published 178 papers at NeurIPS, while Microsoft had 95, DeepMind had 59, Facebook had 58, and IBM had 3.8 while Amazon had less than 30.
In the same year, at ICML, Google had 114 papers published, DeepMind had 51, Microsoft 49, Facebook 34, IBM had 19, and Amazon had 18.
Artificial Intelligence has been touted as a technology that has the potential to start a new industrial revolution and change the way our society functions. But currently, as the technology is still in its initial phase the use cases are quite narrow.