Introducing Concept: National AI Capital

In my Human Resources career, I was working on different Human Capital related topics, from different angles. Since it is obvious that we are globally becoming economy that is much more dependent on human capital, then on any other form of capital, I spent some time researching it a bit deeper. Some of my thoughts will be published soon. But as a part of Human Capital story, I also researched and wrote about different aspects of Artificial Intelligence and how it would impact individuals, organizations, societies and nations / countries.

Based on that, I coined new concept — National AI Capital, or NAIC in short. It is related in some ways with Human Capital, and in a complex relationship that needs to be explored further.

Working definition would be:

NAIC — the country’s capacity to apply and develop, and cope with the challenges of various artificial intelligence systems, in order to increase the country’s social and economic well-being and competitiveness.

We already know that countries are differentiating based on their Human Capital Index Map — measured by World Economic Forum, and that it will make even bigger differences if some countries start lagging back even more.

It is not hard to predict that development in different AI practices and implementation of those projects could give exponential advantage to some countries or companies. Short overview is available in my article: Use of Artificial Intelligence: Comparison between countries. Because of that, it would be reasonable to address this issue globally, and as soon as possible, while the differences are not dramatic.

Strategies to address that problem, will give some answers to many questions. Who is now, and who will be responsible for creation of AI capital of a country? Today, when we have 9 corporations doing enormous job in the AI field, we need to predict or empower other stakeholders to do their part. To differentiate the AI power. Is it going to be Academia and different Universities, AI start-ups funded by more and more venture capital, Government institutions and large scale projects or all of them in some amount, will be answered differently in every country or continent.

And of course, there are different fields of AI that some country could put their focus on. Depending on their specific needs and resources, they could focus on — Healthcare, Marketing, Business Intelligence, Security, Finance, Military, Customer Experience or Education segment, which I mentioned in one of my previous articles: AI Education System: What Can We Expect and Hope for in Croatia?)

As for the initial measurement of NAIC, methodology will be finished and polished in the next months, since I am working with many organizations and individuals from a few countries to finalize some details and gather data from the initial survey that you can check here!

Assumptions were that those factors could be taken into consideration for equation or profile of a single country:

a. number of engineers/developers working in the field (in the country)

b. number of engineers/developers dealing with related fields (in the country)

c. number of AI start-ups (of that country)

d. number of national AI development projects

e. level of investment in AI projects (in the country)

f. number of AI system implementations at the state level

g. the amount of data collected and structured that can be used to develop AI

h. connection of AI scene with world projects and knowledge exchange

i. percentage (%) of jobs substituted by AI and automatization

j. amount of scientific/research papers

k. national long term AI vision and strategy

l. something else ____ ?

Final goal is to have NAIC definition similar to OECD definition of Human capital — “knowledge, skills, competencies and characteristics of individuals that facilitate the creation of personal, social and economic well-being. But also practical methodology that can measure NAIC and compare countries, and give them as a feedback useful information to develop and align their national AI and HC strategies.


Aco Momcilovic

HR Consultant; Owner of FutureHR / Visiting Professor at Swiss School of Business and Management