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The releases of artificial intelligence tools like DALL-E and ChatGPT are part of a funding push for new technologies that really only gained steam in the last five years or so. From 2018 onwards, global corporate investment for AI increased rapidly, from $79.6 billion to an annual $276.1 billion by 2021, according to a new report (pdf) from Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered AI.
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Funding fell off in 2022, with global corporate investments in AI that year totaling $189.6 billion, a 31% decrease from 2021. However, that was
still 13 times greater than what was spent in 2013.
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Corporate investment as measured in the report includes mergers and acquisitions, minority stakes, private investment, and public offerings.
The largest single AI investment event in 2022 was the acquisition of Nuance Communications, acquired by Microsoft and valued at $19.8 billion, according to the report. The largest minority stake event was for the British company Aveva Group at $4.7 billion in 2022. The biggest private investment event was GAC Aion New Energy Automobile, a Chinese clean energy and automotive company for $2.5 billion, while the Chinese semiconductor company ASR Microelectronics had the largest public offering at $1.1 billion.
In 2022 there were 3,538 AI-related private investment events, representing a 12% decrease from 2021 but a sixfold increase since 2013. AI-related events that raised over $1 billion, however, did not decrease and are now over double what they were in 2021. The trends suggest a short-term funding decrease but greater potential for long-term growth, the Stanford report authors suggested.
The global leader of private investments for AI is the US, with a total of $47.4 billion invested in 2022. That is 3.5 times the amount invested by China, at $13.4 billion, and 11 times what was invested in the UK, at $4.4 billion.