Poland ranks 7th in the European Union in terms of the number of experts working on the development or implementation of artificial intelligence (AI), and at the same time 1st in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region. Unfortunately, other data concerning the AI ecosystem are not as optimistic, even though Polish companies prove that the use of AI is not a distant vision, but a real business scenario. The Digital Poland Foundation in its latest report “State of Polish AI 2021” presented the state of artificial intelligence development in Poland and recommendations to keep up with the world’s best economies.
Research conducted by the Digital Poland Foundation shows that Polish companies dealing with artificial intelligence usually operate on the basis of small teams, from five to ten employees. The largest human capital is accumulated by corporations that can afford to fund teams of more than 40 people. More than half of companies that develop AI products and services earn seven-figure profits, and 8 percent record revenues of more than PLN 50 million.
One third of AI companies record the majority of their revenues domestically. On the other hand, the same number (32 percent) of companies rely exclusively on foreign clients. The main external markets for Polish companies are North America (44 percent), the EU (42 percent) and the UK (21 percent). Close cooperation in these regions confirms that domestic technology companies are able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the global economy, and the services and products offered are of high quality. AI teams provide services mainly to sectors such as IT and Telecommunications (58 percent), finance and banking (41 percent) or trade, including e-commerce (34 percent).
Although most companies only added artificial intelligence services or products in 2015, Poland is following global trends in AI technology. The dominant languages used for its development are Python (95 percent) and R (50 percent). The report also shows that the profile of Polish AI experts does not deviate from European standards. Poland ranks seventh in the EU in terms of the nominal number of AI talents, and first in the CEE region. The high level of competences attracts global players to Vistula. Such giants as Amazon, EY, Google, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, TCL, TomTom, UBS or T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom) have opened their R&D, GDS and SDC centres in Poland.
As experts emphasise, Poland is still at an early stage of implementing AI-based solutions. One of the reasons is the lack of effective cooperation between companies and scientific units. The development of artificial intelligence technologies requires strong academic teams. Although 47 percent of the surveyed organisations employ scientists, only 13 percent of them exchange data with academic centres.