AI researchers are an elite priesthood even among computer scientists and this interactive data graphic is an attempt at mapping India’s top-tier AI talent pool. Indian Statistical Institute, Kollkata, the country’s Indian Institutes of Technology, and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology shine in academia, while companies such as Flipkart, IBM, Microsoft, and Tata Consultancy Services do well among companies with such talent. (Early disclosure: We have so far mapped less than one-third of the top AI talent in India.)
India’s top AI researchers don’t run into thousands. The recent Global AI Talent Report 2018 estimates the number of Ph.D educated AI researchers in India at just 386 of the some 22,000 worldwide.
The graphic takes a look at the most influential researchers in the field of AI and machine learning from India, based on citations, location, and H-Index of authors. The H-index measures the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar.
To spot these Indian researchers, we mined the top 500 profiles on Google Scholar, ML India, and LinkedIn for keywords such as artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning, artificial neural networks, computer vision, natural language processing, and robotics. Data on the H-Index, published papers, total citations was sourced from Scopus, an abstract and citation database of information and analytics provider Elsevier.
We counted only AI researchers physically based in India, or are currently teaching in Indian universities. We have data on 126 researchers at the time of publishing, which is around 33% of the number of Ph.D AI researchers in the country counted by the AI talent report, authored by Jean-François Gagné, CEO of AI solutions provider Element AI.
The data does show some clear trends – Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata has four people in the top 10 – profiles by the H-Index. Soumen Chakrabarti (61) of IIT Bombay, Padma Shri award winner Sankar Kumar Pal (47), and Nikhil R. Pal (41) are some of the country’s leading lights in AI and machine learning research. Bengaluru (23), New Delhi (17), Mumbai (15), and Hyderabad (14) are the leading cities in terms of AI hotspots for research work. IITs (44) and IIITs (12) lead in academia, while Flipkart (9), IBM (5), Microsoft (4), and TCS (3) are industry hotspots for researchers.
If there are any researchers that you would like to add to this visualisation, fill in this Google form. With your feedback, FactorDaily will hopefully have a more robust database on Indian AI hotshots.
On the graphic, a couple of points: Researchers are randomly distributed here with the size of each of the circles representing their H-index or number of citations. Mouse over or press a circle to get details of a researcher including name, expertise, H-index, number of citations, and location. The colour of the circles represents the cities they are in or are associated with.
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.Updated at 3:43 PM on 6 March 2018 to fix an error in the data visualisation. It incorrectly labeled Soumen Chakrabarti of IIT Bombay's city as New Delhi.
Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma among its investors. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s investors have any influence on its reporting about India’s technology and startup ecosystem.