The Brookings Institution published a report of the “extent, location, and concentration” of AI activity in 400 US metro areas, hailing it as the “next great ‘general purpose technology,’” with the power to spur economic growth.

Where are the most popular artificial intelligence hubs in the US?

Key takeaways

AI is gaining in popularity and it is a popular buzzword in many companies. But the reality is that the tech is still in its early days.

In the US, AI development and commercialization is heavily concentrated in just a few areas, primarily coastal hubs that became that way for legacy reasons (e.g., Silicon Valley, New York).

  • The Bay Area (including the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas) achieved the top ranking as “the nation’s ‘superstar’ hub.”
  • The combined metro area of SF and San Jose have around four times the number of AI companies, job listings, and job profiles than the average of the next group of “early AI adopters.”

Smaller AI hubs

Brookings identified 13 other metro areas with “above-average involvement” in AI.

These include hubs you may have seen coming —

  • New York
  • Boston
  • Seattle
  • Los Angeles
  • Washington, D.C.
  • San Diego
  • Austin, Texas
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

It also includes smaller metro areas like:

  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Santa Cruz, California
  • Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California, and
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico.

These cities were largely noticed because of their above-average research centers, and for helping the journey from research → commercial applications → successful companies.

Some are home (or HQ) to some of the top corporate players in AI like Oracle, IBM, and Amazon.

Concentration of AI activity

The 15 metro areas listed above make up two-thirds of AI activity nationwide. And more than 50 percent of the areas Brookings looked at make up just 5% of AI activity.

That signals not just a major geographical concentration for AI development, but also for future economic progress.