New Stanford report highlights the potential, costs, and risks of AI

AI-related jobs are on the rise but funding has taken a dip.
Ameya Paleja
The rise of AI has been meteoric but will it last?
The rise of AI has been meteoric but will it last?


The technology world goes through waves of terminologies. Last year, was much about building the metaverse until it turned to artificial intelligence (AI) which has occupied the top news spots almost everywhere. To know whether this wave will last or wither off, one needs to look at some trusted sources in the domain, such as the one released by Stanford University.

For years now, the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence at Stanford has been releasing its AI Index on an annual basis. Tapping into the expertise available within academic and private organizations, the Index provides a detailed snapshot of the trends in AI and the road ahead.

With AI occupying center stage for the past few months, the AI Index is a valuable resource to see what the future holds.

What does the AI Index say?

To begin with, the report highlights the dramatic shift in the release of AI models. While until a few years ago, it was academia that led the development of large models, now it is the industry that is leading the charge.

Not only are the industry-led models much bigger, churning a million times more data than what academia did a decade ago, but the sheer number of models released also shows that the industry is significantly ahead. In 2022, compared to three models released by academics, the industry unveiled 22 models.

New Stanford report highlights the potential, costs, and risks of AI
AI models churn million times more data than they did a decade ago

Additionally, these models have become far more capable than they were only two years ago. To gauge their overall performances, the report states that more comprehensive benchmarking suites need to be released.

The report also found that more businesses are rooting for AI and want to implement it in their workflows to improve employee productivity. Those who have already incorporated AI have reported lowered costs and improved revenues too.

Companies are looking for AI-related skills, but the shift has been much slower on the ground than it appears in the media. Between 2021 and 2022, AI-related job posts increased marginally from 1.7 percent to 1.9 percent.

AI-powered tools like Co-pilot have resulted in increased productivity for employees too, who expressed their ability to focus on more satisfying work with the aid of AI tools.

Even though the rise of AI has been shown to accelerate scientific progress, private funding in the area has actually been reduced. Year-on-year, global investments into AI dropped by a whopping 26 percent in 2022, with a lesser number of AI companies being funded.

This also comes at a time when the costs of developing AI models have shot up significantly. OpenAI trained its GPT model in 2019 for an estimated amount of $50,000. Google's large language model PaLM cost the company $8 million last year.