/Boulder, northern Front Range rank as an early leader in artificial intelligence – The Denver Post (via Qpute.com)
Boulder, northern Front Range rank as an early leader in artificial intelligence – The Denver Post

Boulder, northern Front Range rank as an early leader in artificial intelligence – The Denver Post (via Qpute.com)


From Netflix movie recommendations to supercomputers that review medical scans looking for cancer, innovations in artificial intelligence promise to create wealth and drive growth for the regions able to establish early on a concentration of businesses in that sector.

While hardly a hub yet, Colorado’s northern Front Range is an early contender when it comes to participating in the emerging field, in particular Boulder, according to a study released Wednesday by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

“The Bay Area dominates but there are some surprising inland stars” including Boulder, said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brooking who co-authored the report on the geography of AI.

Wave after wave of technological innovation has followed a “winner-take-all” approach, with northern California winning most of the time. Muro said it is still not clear if AI will also follow that pattern of tech concentration or become more widespread, an outcome the federal government favors.

“There’s evidence for both scenarios, which may be of interest. This gets into questions about the geography of research in the U.S. and whether the federal government can make a difference in patterns,” he said.

The Bay Area remains the “superstar” region when it comes to artificial intelligence and related fields. But the study found 13 “early adopter” regions that could offer alternative hubs, including Boulder, Boston and Austin, Texas. It also lists Denver, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins in a long list of “potential adoption centers.”

Boulder, home to the University of Colorado and several federal labs, had $1,067 in AI research and development dollars per worker, 123.6 AI-related patents per 1 million workers and 416 AI companies per 1 million workers. Boulder was also ahead of the Bay Area when it came to federal AI contracts on a per capita basis, and counts Oracle, Amazon, Soundhound and Apple among its AI innovators.


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