AI conference attendance

Six of the largest seven AI conferences hosted a total of 27,396 attendees in 2018. Attendance at these conferences has grown by an average of 21% per year over 2011-2018. These six conferences host around six times as many attendees as six smaller AI conferences.


Data from AI Index. The  conference IROS is excluded because AI Index did not have data for them in 2018. IROS had 2,678 attendees in 2017, so this does not dramatically change the graph.

Artificial Intelligence Index reports on this, from data they collected from conferences directly.1 We extended their spreadsheet to measure precise growth rates, and visualize the data differently (data here). They are missing 2018 data for IROS, so while we include it in Figure 1, we excluded it from the growth rate calculations.

From their spreadsheet we calculate:

Large conferences (>2000 2018 participants) total participants 27,396
Small conferences (<2000 2018 participants) total participants 4,754

This means large conferences have 5.9 times as many participants as smaller conferences.

According to this data, total large conference participation has grown by a factor 3.76 between 2011 and 2019, which is equivalent to a factor of 1.21 per year during that period.


  1. Artificial Intelligence Index 2018 Report, p26-27, Our copy of their spreadsheet, with some changes is here (

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