The Global AI Strategy Landscape

Education is the key enabler for nations to realize their AI ambitions, yet the shortage of skilled talent remains the number one barrier to innovation.

3D Topographic map background concept. Topo contour map. Rendering abstract illustration. Valleys and mountains. Geography concept. Wavy backdrop. Space surface. magic blue neon light curved lines

AI is a major social and economic policy priority

Workforces around the world are on the cusp of massive transformation. At the same time, nations are looking to their education systems to develop world-class AI capability to survive through, and thrive in a fourth industrial revolution.

Universities will take a leading role, however, they will also collaborate and increasingly compete with newer models such as bootcamps and workforce accelerators that deliver faster, cheaper and more applied, apprenticeship-style programs in partnership with employers around the world. Our recent Global Executive Panel on AI also revealed that the adoption of AI in education is accelerating and has massive potential. But big hurdles remain to realizing the opportunity.

McKinsey estimates that AI has the potential to deliver additional global economic activity of around $13 trillion by 2030, or about 16% higher cumulative GDP compared with today. Securing this economic growth, combined with the soft power an AI leadership role will bring any nation, makes it a major social and economic policy priority.

How are governments approaching the critical need for AI capabilities?

Screenshot 2019-04-25 15.03.03

We mapped 35 AI strategies from around the world representing 90%+ of Global GDP to frame our forthcoming AI and Global Education Report.

Download the summary slide and follow detailed summaries in the table below.

Screenshot 2019-04-25 15.19.21

HolonIQ’s 100-page report on AI and Global Education will be released in May 2019 for Pro+ Clients.

The report includes an overview of AI and it’s role in Global Education, market maps and market sizing, case studies by application and technology and a deeper dive on the AI Strategy Landscape.

Become a Client to receive access to this report and our monthly coverage on the Global Education Market.

Screenshot 2019-04-25 15.19.21

Global AI Strategy Landscape

Last updated April 2019

RegionRelease DateStrategyFunding USDDescription
AustraliaMay 2018Prosperity Through Innovation$22MAustralia has not yet published a dedicated artificial intelligence strategy. The Australian government announced a four-year, AU$29.9 million investment to support the development of AI in Australia in the 2018–2019 Australian budget. The government will create a Technology Roadmap, a Standards Framework, and a national AI Ethics Framework to support the responsible development of AI. In the 2017 innovation roadmap, Australia 2030: Prosperity Through Innovation, the government announced that it will prioritize AI in the government’s forthcoming Digital Economy Strategy. This report was expected to be released in the second half of 2018.
AustriaAug 2017Robot CouncilAustria established a Robot Council in August 2017, with a one million euros working budget from the Ministry. The Robot Council will assist the Ministry of Infrastructure with developing an AI strategy over a two year period. The Council is working to identify technical, economic, and social opportunities and challenges in the areas of robotics, autonomous systems, and AI.

Austria also has the Austrian Society for Measurement, Automation, and Robotics Technology, which established the National Robotics-Technology Platform (GMAR) in 2015, supported by the Austrian Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology. GMAR aims to (1) promote networking and information exchanges among key players, (2) secure Austria’s competitiveness in these industries, (3) promote robotics, automation, and AI technology, (4) provide advice to policy makers, and (5) connect internationally relevant communities.

BrazilE-Digital StrategyBrazil has not yet published a dedicated artificial intelligence strategy. The Brazlian government addresses AI in the [year] E-Digital strategy. The strategy addresses digital transformation, including AI, while protecting its citizens rights and maintaining privacy, developing an action plan for new technologies, and working with other countries to develop new technologies.
CanadaMay 2018$95mCanada was the first country to release a national AI strategy. The Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy announced in the 2017 federal budget, is a five-year, C$125 million plan to invest in AI research and talent. The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research leads the strategy in close partnership with the Canadian government and the three new AI Institutes: the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII) in Edmonton, the Vector Institute in Toronto, and MILA in Montreal.
ChinaJul 2017Next Generation Artificial IntelligenceChina announced its ambition to lead the world in AI in its July 2017 development plan, A Next Generation Artificial Intelligence.

The plan is the most comprehensive of all national AI strategies, with initiatives and goals for R&D, industrialization, talent development, education and skills acquisition, standard setting and regulations, ethical norms, and security. It is a three step plan: 1) Make China’s AI industry “in-line” with competitors by 2020; 2), reach “world-leading” in some AI fields by 2025; and 3), become the “primary” center for AI innovation by 2030. By 2030, the government aims to cultivate an AI industry worth 1 trillion RMB, with related industries worth 10 trillion RMB. In addition, the government has also partnered with national tech companies to develop research and industrial leadership in specific fields of AI and will build a $2.1 billion technology park for AI research in Beijing.

DenmarkJan 2018Digital Growth Strategy$120mDenmark has not yet published a dedicated artificial intelligence strategy. Denmark’s Strategy for Denmark’s Digital Growth, released January 2018, aims to make Denmark a leader in the digital revolution and to create growth and wealth for all Danish people.

Rather than focusing exclusively on advances in AI, the strategy concentrates on AI, big data, and the Internet of Things. The strategy has three goals: (1) make Danish businesses the best at using digital technologies; (2) have the best conditions in place for the digital transformation of business; and (3) ensure every Dane is equipped with the necessary digital skills to compete.

EstoniaAI Task ForceEstonia is developing a legal framework for the use of AI in its country, including a bill on AI liability.

Estonia has long been at the forefront of e-governance, instituting digital technologies into government and throughout its society. The country is now investing in AI, and developing a legal framework around its use. Initially, the Estonian government was pursuing the best way to integrate autonomous vehicles onto the roads, but determined it was better to develop broader plans for AI that are not sector-specific given that questions around issues such as cybersecurity, enforcement, and ethics cut across sectors. By developing an holistic approach, Estonia hopes to encourage quicker dissemination of these technological developments.

Estonia is developing a bill for AI liability which will be ready in March 2019. The government hopes the legal framework will attract investors by providing a simple, comprehensive guideline to enable the broad use of AI systems. This effort will be assisted by the use of a closed blockchain system which is intended to promote data integrity and security. To inform the bill and the discussion of the issues at stake, Estonia launched a public debate and consultation in September 2017. The government will also establish an AI Task Force to define legal, business, and communications strategies.

FinlandDec 2017Age of Artificial IntelligenceFinland has not yet published a dedicated artificial intelligence strategy. In May 2017, Finland appointed a steering group which has released two interim reports ahead of a full strategy expected soon. The first report, Finland’s Age of Artificial Intelligence, surveyed Finland’s strengths and weaknesses in AI and provided eight recommendations to turn Finland into a global leader in the application of AI. A second interim report, Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, gives an additional 28 policy recommendations related to four aspects of the future of work: growth and employment; labour market; learning and skills; and ethics.
FranceMar 2018AI for Humanity$1.75BFrance announced a €1.5 billion plan in 2018 to transform France into a global leader in AI. The plan draws heavily from the report, For a Meaningful Artificial Intelligence: Towards a French and European Strategy, in which Cédric Villani, France’s famed mathematician and Deputy for the Essonne, and the other members of the “Villani Mission” outlined a number of policies and initiatives for the government to consider.

The plan consists of four components: a network of five research institutes. an open data policy, a regulatory and financial framework and ethical regulations.

In total, the government will invest €1.5 billion in AI by the end of the current five-year term. €700 million will go towards research, €100 million this year to AI startups and companies, €70 million annually through France’s Public Investment Bank, and $400 million to industrial projects in AI.

GermanyJul 2018On November 15, 2018, the German Government adopted a national AI strategy and earmarked €3 billion for investment in AI research and development. The strategy is based on the Federal Cabinet’s Key Points for a Strategy on Artificial Intelligence, and was developed by the Economic Affairs Ministry, the Research Ministry, and the Labour Ministry.

The strategy pursues the following three objectives: 1) making Germany and Europe global leaders on the development and use of AI technologies and securing Germany’s competitiveness in the future, 2)safeguarding the responsible development and use of AI which serves the good of society, and 3) integrating AI in society in ethical, legal, cultural and institutional terms in the context of a broad societal dialogue and active political measures.

IndiaJun 2018Social Inclusion and AI GarageIndia’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence focuses on using technologies to ensure social growth, inclusion and positioning the country as a leader in AI on the global platform. Strategically, the government also seeks to establish India as an “AI Garage,” incubating AI that can be applicable to the rest of the developing world.

NITI Aayog, the government think tank that wrote the report, calls this approach #AIforAll. The strategy, as a result, aims to (1) enhance and empower Indians with the skills to find quality jobs; (2) invest in research and sectors that can maximize economic growth and social impact; and (3) scale Indian-made AI solutions to the rest of the developing world.

IndonesiaIndonesia has not yet published a dedicated artificial intelligence strategy. However Indonesia is the leading Asia-Pacific market (17) in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence with 65% of respondents stating that they had or planned to implemented AI in their businesses in the near future.
IrelandAI IslandThe Irish Economic Development Agency (IDA) and Enterprise Ireland created an infographic highlighting Ireland’s strengths in AI and characterizing Ireland’s strategy as the “AI Island”. To develop this, they audited the country’s AI ecosystems and organized a collaborative workshop in 2017 involving industry, government and academia. Ireland has also launched a national AI Masters program in 2018 that is 100% industry-driven. Ken Finnegan, chief technologist at IDA Ireland, explained, “It is not a revolution, it is an evolution. IBM came to Ireland 61 years ago to do low-level manufacturing. Today, it is at the peak of capabilities in AI worldwide.”
IsraelThe Israel Innovation Authority (15), tasked with AI policies for the country, has warned that policies are needed to prevent the country falling behind. They acknowledge that Israel needs to implement policies to strengthen academic research, develop infrastructure, and to regulate the industry.
ItalyMar 2018At The Service of CitizensItaly released a white paper, Artificial Intelligence: At The Service of Citizens in March 2018 focused exclusively on how the government can facilitate the adoption of AI technologies in the public administration. the Agency for Digital Italy published the white paper, devotes a significant amount of time to the challenges of integrating AI into government services. This includes concerns over ethics, the availability of skilled employees, the role of data, and legal implications. Recommendations included the creation of a National Competence Centre and a Trans-disciplinary Centre on AI, a national platform to promote the collection of annotated data, and measures to disseminate AI-related skills through the public administration.

In July 2018, a consortium of universities and research centres in Italy united to create a new national laboratory for AI. CINI-AIIS Lab (Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Systems Lab) aims to strengthen Italy’s basic and applied research in AI, support the country’s ICT industry by promoting technology transfer from research to entrepreneurship, and promote the adoption of AI solutions in the public administration.

JapanMar 2017Society 5.0Japan was the second country to develop a national AI strategy. Society 5.0 was released in 2017 to create sustainable solutions for better human life in Japan. Japan’s AI policy, the Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy, was announced in March 2017.

Based on iPublic-Private Dialogue Towards Investment for the Future in April 2016, the Strategic Council for AI Technology was established to develop “research and development goals and a roadmap for the industrialization of artificial intelligence.” The 11-member council had representatives from academia, industry, and government, including the President of Japan’s Society for the Promotion of Science, the President of the University of Tokyo, and the Chairman of Toyota.

Japan’s three-phase development plan for AI | via the Industrialization Roadmap
The plan, the Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy, was released in March 2017. The Industrialization Roadmap, envisions AI as a service and organizes the development of AI into three phases: (1) the utilization and application of data-driven AI developed in various domains, (2) the public use of AI and data developed across various domains, and (3) the creation of ecosystems built by connecting multiplying domains.

KenyaBlockchain & AI Task ForceThe Kenyan government created a Blockchain & Artificial Intelligence task force in February 2018. The first goal of the group is to provide the government with recommendations about how to harness these emerging technologies over the next five years. Other areas of interest include the application of these technologies to public service delivery, cybersecurity, financial inclusion, and election processes. The task force will also provide milestones for 2027 and 2032 and situate the strategy in the areas of financial inclusion, cybersecurity, land tilting, election process, single digital identity, and overall public service delivery.
MalaysiaOct 2017National AI FrameworkIn 2018, Malaysia revealed a National Artificial Intelligence Framework. The framework expands the National Big Data Analytics Framework, and is led by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). Malaysia’s new government has not yet given an update on the National AI Framework.
MaltaMar 2019Malta.ai
MexicoJun 2018Towards an AI StrategyMexico’s ‘Towards an AI Strategy: Harnessing the AI Revolution’ was commissioned by the British Embassy in Mexico and released in June 2018 as a white paper that lays out the foundations for a national AI strategy in Mexico. The report surveys the current state of AI in Mexico, details relevant policies already in place, and describes potential use cases for AI at the national and regional levels. Based on evidence from over 60 interviews with local AI experts, the report concludes with a set of recommendations grouped into five categories: (1) government and public services, (2) data and digital infrastructure, (3) research and development, (4) capacity, skills and education, and (5) ethics.

The current status of the strategy is unclear. In March, the government made an announcement about the report, thereby making it official government policy. But, due to Mexico’s summer election, the government has not started to implement the strategy. It is also unclear, as of the time of writing, whether Mexico’s new President will implement the report’s recommendations.

New ZealandMay 2018AI ForumIn May 2018, AI Forum of New Zealand, an cross industry and independent organization released a report titled, “Artificial Intelligence: Shaping a Future New Zealand.” The report surveys the global AI landscape, examines the potential impact of AI on New Zealand’s economy and society, and concludes with a set of recommendations for policymakers.

With the goal of “fostering an environment where AI delivers inclusive benefits for the entire country,” the report recommends (1) developing a coordinated national AI strategy, (2) creating awareness and understanding of AI in the public, (3) assisting the public and private sectors adopt AI technologies, (4) increasing access to trusted data, (5) growing the local AI talent pool, and (6) examining how AI affects laws and ethics. AI Forum NZ has also started two working groups to advance these goals: one focuses on fairness, transparency, and accountability in AI, while the other focuses on AI’s economic and labour impact.

PolandMay 2018RoundtablePoland’s government held its first roundtable on the development of an AI strategy in May 2018. The roundtable focused on the policies and platforms required to foster an environment conducive to the creation of AI technologies in Poland. The Polish Prime Minister stressed that the government is aware of the need to create a strategy and that Poland’s plan will include AI solutions for the future of health care, public administration, education and cybersecurity.
QatarFeb 2019BlueprintThe National AI Strategy for Qatar, was announced on 7 February 2019.
RussiaMar 2018Artificial Intelligence: Problems and SolutionAn overivew of national AI strategies would not be complete with President Putin’s quote “whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world”.

The Russian government is currently developing an AI R&D national strategy. In preparation in March 2018, Russia’s Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Russian Academy of Sciences hosted a conference titled, “Artificial Intelligence: Problems and Solutions — 2018.” A list of 10 policies recommended by the conference was published by the Ministry of Defence including initiatives such as creating a state system for AI education and talent retainment, establishing a national center for AI, and hosting war games to study the impact of AI on military operations.

SingaporeMay 2017AI Singapore$92MAI Singapore is a five-year, S$150 million national program launched in May 2017 to enhance Singapore’s capabilities in AI. Its goals are to invest in the next wave of AI research, address major societal and economic challenges, and broaden adoption and use of AI within industry.

The program consists of four key initiatives. 1) Fundamental AI Research funds scientific research that will contribute to the other pillars of AI Singapore. 2), Grand Challenges supports the work of multi-disciplinary teams that provide innovative solutions to major challenges Singapore and the world faces. Currently the program focuses on health, urban solutions, and finance. 3) 100 Experiments funds scalable AI solutions to industry-identified problems. 4) AI Apprenticeship is a 9-month structured program to foster a new cohort of AI talent in Singapore.

In June 2018, the government announced three new initiatives on AI governance and ethics. Principally, the new Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data will help the Government develop standards and governance frameworks for the ethics of AI.

Saudi ArabiaOct 2017Robot CitizenshipSaudi Arabia was the first country to grant citizenship to a robot.

Saudi Arabia became the first country to grant citizenship to a robot on October 26, 2017. The robot is called Sophia, and is a humanoid produced by Hanson Robotics. It was granted citizenship prior to speaking at the Future Investment Initiative in the kingdom’s capital city of Riyadh.

South AfricaIntsimbi Future Production TechnologiesSouth Africa does not have a specific AI strategy, however the “Intsimbi Future Production Technologies Initiative” launched in 2018 with the aim of advancing South Africa’s manufacturing sector does consider AI. The Intsimbi model aims to address the Digital Industrial Revolution or IR 4.0 and the challenge in technologies such as robotics and AI, nanotechnologies and quantum computing.

The IFPTI is an expansion of the National Tooling Initiative programme and targets fields like robotics and mechatronics which have the capacity to transform South Africa’s manufacturing sector and “create innovative industry solutions that can be expanded in a sustainable way” to turn South Africa into an industrial powerhouse.

South KoreaMay 2018AI Information Industry Development$1.95BTwo days after DeepMind’s AlphaGo defeated South Korea’s Lee Sedol at Go (4 games to 1), the government announced a ₩1 trillion investment in AI research over the next five years.

Two years later, South Korean announced the new five year, AI Information Industry Development plan. ₩2.2 trillion in investment was committed to strengthen the country’s R&D in AI with three main objectives. 1) To secure AI talent, the government will establish six graduate school in AI by 2022 with the goal of training 5,000 AI specialists (1,400 AI researchers and 3,600 data management specialists). The government also announced an initiative to train 600 people in AI to address the immediate short term need for AI talent. 2) Focus on development of AI technology. The government will fund large scale projects in national defence, medicine, and public safety and will start an AI R&D challenge similar to DARPA. 3) The government will invest in infrastructure to support the development of AI start-ups and SMEs. This includes funding for the creation of an AI semiconductor by 2029 and an AI-oriented start-up incubator to support emerging AI businesses.

Sri LankaAug 2018
SwedenMay 2018Sweden released the National Approach for Artificial Intelligence, in May 2018. Sweden is focused on using AI for competitiveness and welfare focusing on training more skilled AI-professionals, increasing basic and applied research in AI, and developing a legal framework to ensure the development of AI applications that are ethical, safe, reliable, and transparent.

Since the launch of the strategy, the government has begun to rollout new policy initiatives including funding for AI-training for professionals, an AI Science Park, and AI-related innovation projects through Vinnova (the government’s innovation agency).

TaiwanJan 2018AI Action Plan$1.18BTaiwan launched a four-year “Taiwan AI Action Plan” in January 2018, as part of the broader strategy to use Taiwan’s information technology and semiconductor industries to develop new smart technologies. The AI Action Plan has an annual budget of [NT$10 billion] over four years and five key initiatives. 1) the AI Talent Program aims to cultivate 1,000 advanced AI researchers and 10,000 AI-related professionals by 2021. 2), new pilot project based of the DARPA in the US and SIS in Japan in order to focus R&D into niche advantages for industrial development. 3), a new AI International Innovation Hub is being constructed with the aim of fostering 100 AI-related startups. 4), policymakers are testing open data fields and flexible regulations to support development of intelligent applications. 5) integrating AI into Taiwan’s ‘5 + 2’ industrial innovation initiative.
TunisiaApr 2018National AI Strategy Task ForceTunisia has created an AI Task Force and Steering Committee to develop a national AI strategy. The strategy is currently scheduled to be published in the first quarter of 2019. The primary goal will be to facilitate the emergence of an AI ecosystem that acts as a strong lever for equitable and sustainable development and job creation.

The development of the strategy was officially launched in April 2018 during a workshop titled “National AI Strategy: Unlocking Tunisia’s capabilities potential” and hosted by the UNESCO Chair on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, in partnership with the National Agency for Scientific Research Promotion-ANPR.

UAEOct 2017UAE Strategy for Artificial IntelligenceThe UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, was announced in October 2017. The UAE became the first country in the world to create a Ministry of Artificial Intelligence and first in the Middle East to launch an AI strategy. The strategy is the first initiative of the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan and its main objective is to enhance government performance and efficiency. The government will invest in AI technologies in nine sectors: transport, health, space, renewable energy, water, technology, education, environment, and traffic. In doing so, the government aims to diversify the economy, cut costs across the government and position the UAE as a global leader in the application of AI.
UKApril 2018AI Sector Deal$1.24BThe UK launched the AI Sector Deal in April 2018 as part of the governments broader Industrial Strategy. The UK government wants to lead the global governance of AI ethics and the plan includes policies to boost public and private R&D, invest in STEM education, improve digital infrastructure, develop AI talent, and lead the global conversation on data ethics. Major announcements include over £950 million in funding, the expansion of the Alan Turing Institute, the creation of Turing Fellowships, and the launch of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

Ahead of the AI Sector Deal lainch, the UK’s House of Lords’ Select Committee on AI published a, AI in the UK: ready, willing, and able? The report concluded a ten-month inquiry to examining the economic, ethical, and social implications of advances in AI. The report outlines a number of recommendations including calls to review the potential monopolization of data by technology companies, incentivize the development of new approaches to the auditing of datasets, and create a growth fund for UK SMEs working with AI.

United StatesAmerican AI InitiativeUS President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order launching the American AI Initiative on February 11, 2019. The Executive Order explained that the Federal Government plays an important role not only in facilitating AI R&D, but also in promoting trust, training people for a changing workforce, and protecting national interests, security, and values. And while the Executive Order emphasizes American leadership in AI, it is stressed that this requires enhancing collaboration with foreign partners and allies.

On March 19, 2019, the US federal government launched AI.gov to make it easier to access all of the governmental AI initiatives currently underway.

The American AI Initiative is guided by five principles, which include (in summarized form,) the following: 1. Driving technological breakthroughs, 2. Driving the development of appropriate technical standards, 3. Training workers with the skills to develop and apply AI technologies, 4. Protecting American values including civil liberties and privacy and fostering public trust and confidence in AI technologies, 5. Protecting US technological advantage in AI, while promoting an international environment that supports innovation.

Become a Client

Learn more about how we can help you achieve your mission-critical priorities.

3D Topographic map background concept. Topo contour map. Rendering abstract illustration. Valleys and mountains. Geography concept. Wavy backdrop. Space surface. magic blue neon light curved lines

Related Research

Education-as-Usual. Likely but not preferred.

6 June 2019. 

Of the 5 Scenarios for Education in 2030, Education-as-Usual is least preferred but most likely according to 5000+ educators, entrepreneurs, leaders and investors from 30+ countries who have contributed to the Education in 2030 Project.

2019 Artificial Intelligence & Global Education Report

24 May 2019. 

HolonIQ’s Annual Report on the State of Artificial Intelligence in Global Education

35 National AI Strategies. The Global AI Strategy Landscape

26 April 2019. 

Education is the key enabler for nations to realize their AI ambitions, yet the shortage of skilled talent remains the number one barrier to innovation.

Adoption of AI in education is accelerating. Massive potential but big hurdles remain.

31 March 2019. 

The HolonIQ Global Executive Panel reports strong early adoption of artificial intelligence, emerging capability building, but still many barriers.