About: Nature Index (Artificial Intelligence), Nature research, Nature Index 2020 Artificial Intelligence

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  • The Nature Index 2020 Artificial Intelligence was recently released by ‘Nature Research’.

About: Nature Research

  • Nature Research is a division of the international scientific publishing company Springer Nature that publishes academic journals, magazines, online databases, and services in science and medicine.
  • Nature Research’s flagship publication is Nature, a weekly multidisciplinary journal first published in 1869.
  • Nature, an international journal, publishes high quality research in all fields of science and technology. It also provides authoritative and insightful news and interpretation of current and upcoming trends affecting science, scientists and the wider public.

About: Nature Index (Artificial Intelligence)

  • The Nature Index is a database of author affiliation information, tracking contributions of authors (of research) to research articles published in 82 high-quality natural-science journals.
  • The Index provides counts of article publication at the institutional and national level and is an indicator of global high-quality research output and collaboration of various institutions and nations.
  • The Artificial Intelligence supplement explores artificial intelligence (AI), one of the most rapidly advancing and controversial topics in scientific research.
  • The articles tracked for Nature Index 2020 Artificial Intelligence supplement are primarily related to the application of AI to research in the broad fields of chemistry, the physical sciences, life sciences, and Earth and environmental sciences.

Nature Index metrics:

  • The Nature Index uses Count and Share to track research output.
  • Count: A country/territory or an institution is given a Count of 1 for each article that has at least one author from that country/territory or institution.
  • Share: To obtain a country’s or an institution’s contribution to an article, and to ensure they are not counted more than once, the Index uses Share. It is a fractional count that takes into account the share of authorship on each article.
    • For instance, if an article has 10 authors, that means that each author (and the institution/country she represents) receives a Share of 0.1


  • Users of the Nature Index are those with an interest in the origin of high-quality scientific research from around the world.
  • It helps them to track the amount of high quality research taking place across the world and gives them an idea on which countries/research organisations performing the best.
  • It also provides institutions an easy means to highlight some of their best scientific research.

Nature Index 2020 Artificial Intelligence


  • The United States has historically been the leader in AI-related research output, accumulating the highest number of publications over the past two decades.
  • Between 2015 and 2019, in terms of global output for AI research, the US was the leader, with the UK, Germany and China in second, third and fourth place, respectively.
  • In each year from 2016 to 2019, China produced more AI-related papers than any other nation. Over this period, China’s output of AI-related research increased by just over 120%, whereas output in the US increased by almost 70%.
  • In 2019, India has been the third most productive country in AI research, with over 23,000 papers. On the overall AI Index, it is at the 20th position in a list dominated by European countries.

Lack of diversity in AI:

  • AI’s influence continues to grow, but there is lack of diversity of researchers in the field. As of 2019, fewer than 14% of AI research authors were women.
  • Researchers in East Asia, Europe and North America authored 86% of papers published in 2018 and researchers in regions including Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, north Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia represented the remaining 14%.
  • In the United States in 2020, only 1.7% of technical roles at Facebook were held by Black people.
  • Due to this lack of diversity, the world will miss the perspectives that could shape the solutions to the current and future challenges.
  • Thus, it is important to create structures that will support long-term, positive changes.

 Science & Tech