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AI Watch

AI Watch Index 2021


Publication date
31 March 2022
Joint Research Centre
Topic area
  • AI landscape
  • AI standards
  • Education
  • Evolution of AI technology


This report provides the analysis of multiple indicators related to the development of artificial intelligence from several perspectives. Although the geographical focus is on the EU27, when possible we provide a comparison with major worldwide AI powerhouses, i.e., the US and China, among others. Also, when available, an indicator is provided for the 27 EU Member States.

The analysis is structured in five dimensions:

  • global view on the AI landscape,
  • industry,
  • research and development (R&D),
  • technology,
  • and societal aspects.

The results show, as expected, that AI is in a phase of technological evolution and improvement. The US is in a leading position in the worldwide landscape in economic terms. China follows, notably due to a very prominent patenting activity in the field. The EU is third, but several elements support the thesis that the distance with the two leading countries is less than often suggested.

The analysis reveals that the EU performs remarkably well in R&D - beyond the consideration of EC-funded projects -. Also, the EU demonstrates specialisation in AI Services and in Autonomous Robotics. Also, the EU shows very positive dynamics in trade in industrial robotics and in new robotics start-ups. Regarding investments in AI, we observe a positive signal for the potential development of the domain in the Union, as the level of private and public investments has increased in all of the 27 EU Member States in the last year.

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31 MARCH 2022
AI Watch Index 2021