AI mentions in aerospace and defence filings increase 79%
Mentions of artificial intelligence within the filings of companies in the aerospace and defence sector rose 79% between the first and second quarters of 2021. Emil Filipov reports GlobalData findings.
The frequency of sentences related to artificial intelligence increased 222% between July 2020 and June 2021 compared with 2016 when GlobalData first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.
When companies in the aerospace and defence sector publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of these topics. Companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.
To assess whether AI is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the aerospace and defence sector, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies that have mentioned AI at least once in filings during the past twelve months; this was 96% compared with 67% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to AI.
Of the 20 biggest employers in the aerospace and defence sector, Leonardo was the company that referred to AI the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 35 AI-related sentences in the Italy-based company's filings - 0.7% of all sentences. Rheinmetall mentioned AI the second-most - the issue was referred to in 0.5% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high AI mentions included Thales, Elbit Systems and BAE Systems.
Across all companies in the aerospace and defence sector, the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on AI came from CAE. Of the document's 2,413 sentences, 39 (1.6%) referred to AI.
This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on AI and how important the issue is considered within the aerospace and defence sector, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning AI more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into AI have been successes or failures.
GlobalData also categorises AI mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred topic in the second quarter of 2021 was 'smart robots', which made up 78% of all AI subtheme mentions by companies in the aerospace and defence sector.
To get multidomain integration, defence has to join as a whole, not as the army, the navy, air force and strategic command
The Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group epitomises sea power projection. Credit: MOD Crown Copyright
// Main image: Companies that excel at AI are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape. Credit: PopTika / Shutterstock