It may not be unusual for burgeoning areas of science, especially those related to rapid technological changes in society, to take off quickly, but even by these standards the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has been impressive. Together with robotics, AI is representing an increasingly significant portion of research volume at various levels, as these charts show.
Across the field
The number of AI and robotics papers published in the 82 high-quality science journals in the Nature Index (Count) has been rising year-on-year — so rapidly that it resembles an exponential growth curve. A similar increase is also happening more generally in journals and proceedings not included in the Nature Index, as is shown by data from the Dimensions database of research publications.
Five countries — the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and France — had the highest AI and robotics Share in the Nature Index from 2015 to 2021, with the United States leading the pack. China has seen the largest percentage change (1,174%) in annual Share over the period among the five nations.
AI and robotics infiltration
As the field of AI and robotics research grows in its own right, leading institutions such as Harvard University in the United States have increased their Share in this area since 2015. But such leading institutions have also seen an expansion in the proportion of their overall index Share represented by research in AI and robotics. One possible explanation for this is that AI and robotics is expanding into other fields, creating interdisciplinary AI and robotics research.