Government AI Readiness Index 2019 released

Oxford Insights and the International Development Research Centre have released the 2019 edition of the Government Artificial Intelligence (AI) Index, showing the extent to which governments around the world are prepared to take advantage of the benefits of AI. The index covers 194 countries and territories and ranks them according to their preparedness to use AI in the delivery of public services. Each country is allocated a score comprised of 11 input metrics under 4 clusters: governance, infrastructure and data, skills and education, and government and public services. Singapore ranks first in this index, with a score of 9.186, and it is followed by the UK (9.069), Germany (8.810), the USA (8.804), and Finland (8.772) as the top five AI-ready countries. Among the top 20 countries, most of them are Western European, also joined by Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, United Arab Emirates, and China. The index shows that the best performing region in terms of AI readiness is North America, and the worst performing are Africa and Asia-Pacific, thus demonstrating a predictable inequality between higher income countries, which score better, and middle and lower-income countries, which are less prepared to take advantage of AI. In this light, policymakers are encouraged to take measures ‘to ensure that global inequalities are not further entrenched or exacerbated by AI’.