The latest edition of the AI Index Report from Stanford University’s Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Center provides a comprehensive look at artificial intelligence (AI) policy, regulation, and diversity trends across the globe.

The number of AI-related regulations enacted by U.S. federal agencies like the FDA, EPA, and FCC has skyrocketed from just 1 in 2016 to 25 in 2023. This rapid increase signals how rapidly AI is being applied across different industries and sectors, requiring new governance frameworks. The regulations have focused on areas such as foreign trade/finance, health, commerce, and technology/communications. Professionals in these domains should pay close attention to these evolving standards.

At the legislative level, AI is clearly a priority with over 800 mentions in U.S. Congressional records from 2016 – 2023. Key committees discussing AI include Banking/Housing, Intelligence, Energy, Commerce/Science, Armed Services, and Homeland Security. The U.S. government is also increasing spending on AI research and development. Funding is up across natural language processing (+72%), computer vision (+17%), autonomy (+56%), and machine learning (+28%) compared to 2022 levels. The Department of Defense requested $2.6 billion for AI in FY2024, a 26% increase from FY2023.

While the policy landscape is rapidly growing and evolving, gaps remain in increasing diversity in the AI workforce and education pipeline. Only around 1% of 2022 computer science PhD graduates in the U.S. and Canada were from underrepresented racial or ethnic minority groups. The percentage of students with disabilities pursuing computer science and related degrees remains very low at around 1% across all levels of higher education. The rate of women and nonbinary individuals hired as faculty has stayed similarly stagnant (at roughly 20% and less than one percent, respectively). However, there is some positive momentum as the rate of women and nonbinary individuals engaged in Computer Science at the K-12 level has nearly doubled in the last decade.

The AI Index Report data illustrates both the opportunities and challenges surrounding AI governance and workforce development in the U.S. As AI’s influence grows, policymakers, legal professionals, and educators must stay focused on developing robust governance frameworks and a diverse talent pipeline.

You can read the full report for yourself here.