A new ranking of think tanks uses artificial intelligence to determine the world's most influential policy shops.
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Founded in October 2016, with funding assistance from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Influence Networks created proprietary machine learning technology—the Influence Engine—to measure true influence. Using this technology, AcademicInfluence.com examines billions of open-source, crowd-edited data points, mapping lines of influence through continuously updated data repositories, including Wikipedia and Crossref. These databases result in analysis that resists being gamed or undermined by single-source editorial bias. AcadmicInfluence.com now opens access to these user-customizable search capabilities so that students, researchers, and inquirers can discover the most influential people and institutions, providing the answers users seek with the objectivity they need.
Based on its machine learning algorithm, Academic Influence lists the top 10 think tanks as:
- Brookings Institution
- Heritage Foundation
- Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
- Cato Institute
- Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
- American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
- RAND Corporation
- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Atlantic Council
- Hoover Institution
Here is a full list of the 50 most influential think tanks in the world, as well as more information on how the ranking was determined. Think Tank Watch expects that there will be a robust debate about the positives and negatives of this particular ranking.
The top-ranked non-US think tank is the Berlin-headquartered European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), which comes in at #16 on the list. ECFR is followed by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which is #17 on the list.
Academic Influence recently ranked the 50 most influential universities in the world, with Harvard University at #1, University of London at #2, and Stanford University at #3.