Pittsburgh, the birthplace of AI, is also an artificial intelligence smart city.

Photo Credit: Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh: The Birthplace of AI

Pittsburgh is shaping the future of what’s next in artificial intelligence (AI): software, hardware, robotics, and machine learning. AI began in Pittsburgh, with Carnegie Mellon as a trailblazer since the 1950s — in fact,  esteemed faculty members, Herbert Simon and Allen Newell, invented the field of AI during their tenure. Today, the Pittsburgh area is a leader in artificial intelligence smart cities, developing new technologies and initiatives. 

Artificial intelligence has numerous benefits from urbanization to creating sustainable cities to everyday life. However, AI is more than your smartphone’s facial recognition, mobile apps or virtual assistant. Since AI is essentially a collection of programmed algorithms, it can be applied across nearly every industry from the development of autonomous vehicles to IT data analytics. 

For example, one use case would be in the medical field, where AI platforms can help to better manage healthcare systems. The use of AI systems and machine learning might even allow for robotic assistance in surgery, as robots can exceed human accuracy on many different surgical tasks. 

What Are the Benefits of AI in Smart Cities? 

AI technology is a critical piece of smart city development. While Pittsburgh is known as the “Steel City,” it is also a smart city. What is a smart city? It’s an area that uses a variety of methods, including AI, for data collection and automation of administrative tasks. This data is in turn used for city planning, urban environment improvement, and optimization. 

Artificial intelligence is also often used to sort through large amounts of “big data” in many industries, including real-world AI applications in the public sector. The implementation of AI with IoT systems (Internet of Things) can help urban areas and municipalities gain insights and use forecasting to make more informed decisions. These learnings of artificial intelligence smart cities could be what their citizens need, like tracking energy usage to improve the allocation of renewable energy sources. Or it can help commuters deal with less traffic congestion. 

Using historical and real-time datasets, artificial intelligence smart cities and their city planners can use cost-effective management systems to help improve city initiatives like safety, sustainability, decision-making, and quality of life. AI services and smart city applications can improve nearly every aspect of a metropolis, including: 

  • Access to public services 
  • Climate change 
  • Energy-efficiency 
  • Public safety 
  • Public transportation 
  • Traffic management 
  • Urban planning 
  • Waste management 

In the Pittsburgh region, we’re the home of top AI companies, talent, and graduates. The application of AI and AI research isn’t just for our own stakeholders and data scientists. AI developments lead to economic growth and help to improve businesses, metro areas, and quality of life all over the world. 


Mike Harding

Vice President, Business Investment

Phone: 412.281.4783 x3117 | m: 412.290.4082

“Pittsburgh is one of the core centers of talent right now for this industry.”

Photo Credit: TechCrunch



Pittsburgh is home to Carnegie Mellon University: the birthplace of AI

AlphaLab, a program of Innovation Works, gives startups the tools they need to launch quickly.
Photo Credit: Innovation Works


U.S. AI grad program


Annual computer & information science R&D. 2nd highest in the U.S.


AI undergrad program


AI grad degrees awarded by CMU in the past five years



Pittsburgh is home to a deep pool of AI talent
Photo Credit: Aurora


Universities & post-secondary CTE institutions


Computer support database and systems employees; average wage $91,384*

Nearly 5,000

Tech degrees & certificates awarded annually


Software developers and programmers; average wage $87,273 USD*


Computer and information systems managers; average wage $145,770*

*Employee numbers and average wages in AI-related positions based on 2021 data.




AI-supporting accelerators & incubators


Unique regional startups attracted $3B in funding in 2019 (7x increase since 2010)


Robust support from accelerators, educational organizations & ecosystem leaders

Global Connections



Startup Genome logo

Startup Genome, a global leader in ecosystem research, spotlights the Pittsburgh startup ecosystem as part of its network of 280+ cities. Pittsburgh is named the #23 emerging ecosystem globally, with its robotics, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and cleantech industries highlighted.

Key Investments

Nov 2017 Petuum

150 New Jobs

70-person AI company raised $93M in Series B funding with plans to expand its team to 200 employees and build an internal sales and marketing team.

Nov 2017 Petuum

Feb 2018 Amazon

125 New Jobs

Opened tech office in 2017 and plans to expand their workforce to 100 employees with a focus on Alexa voice technology and machine learning.

Feb 2018 Amazon

May 2018 Facebook AI Lab

$15,000,000 Capital Investment

Two of Carnegie Mellon’s top AI + robotics researchers now lead Facebook’s newest AI lab in Pittsburgh on the university’s campus.

May 2018 Facebook AI Lab

Jun 2018 Bosch

20 New Jobs

Partnered with Carnegie Mellon University to launch the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence (BCAI) Research Lab. Plan to build a team of up to 20 AI experts and invest $8M+ in CMU research through 2023.

Jun 2018 Bosch

Nov 2018 Voci Technologies

50 New Jobs

Speech-to-text startup raised $8M in Series B funding, moved to an 11,000-square-foot facility in the Strip District and doubled its staff in 2019. Recently acquired for $59M by Medallia.

Nov 2018 Voci Technologies

Dec 2018 U.S. Army Artificial Intelligence Task Force

10 New Jobs

U.S. Army established its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Task Force at Carnegie Mellon University; the task force consists of 20 people between Pittsburgh and D.C.

Dec 2018 U.S. Army Artificial Intelligence Task Force

Jan 2019 Ready AI

4 New Jobs

The first teacher-friendly K-12 AI education startup launched in Pittsburgh in 2019. Owned and operated by Andrew Chen and WholeRen, another Pittsburgh-based education company.

Jan 2019 Ready AI

Apr 2019 Fortive

6 New Jobs

Washington state-based industrial company set up an AI and data analytics center, also known as “The Fort,” in Pittsburgh after purchasing Industrial Scientific earlier in 2017.

Apr 2019 Fortive

Jun 2019 Edge Case Research


Lawrenceville-based Edge Case Research announces seed round of $7 million in investment funding towards an intelligent safety assessment platform for autonomous vehicle software that operates at the speed of modern machine learning development.

Jun 2019 Edge Case Research

Jan 2020 LegalSifter, Inc.


Pittsburgh-based legal service AI startup will double its office space to nearly 3,500 square feet by 2022 to accommodate its growing team.

Jan 2020 LegalSifter, Inc.


Innovation Works helps tech startups get off the ground quickly

Photo Credit: Innovation Works
Innovation Works

One of the most active early-stage investors in the U.S. with startup support programs. It also has two nationally ranked accelerators – AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear – that help hardware and software companies get off the ground.

Pittsburgh Technology Council Logo
Pittsburgh Technology Council

Supports the region’s technology-based companies with business development, talent retention, government relations, and visibility services. 

Pittsburgh Innovation District Logo

A public/private partnership specializes in accelerating the status of Pittsburgh as a global innovation city and supporting the Innovation District of Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. 

Pittsburgh Robotics Network logo
Pittsburgh Robotics Network

Founded in 2018 by robotics company leaders, this nonprofit’s mission is to accelerate robotics and AI adoption by bridging the Pittsburgh robotics community with the world. 


While New York City and San Francisco, California, are known for their technology companies, Pittsburgh is home to many of the top AI companies, including Nvidia, Meta, Microsoft Avere, and Petuum to name a few. Read on to learn about even more artificial intelligence providers in Pittsburgh. 

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center logo
Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

Joint Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh R&D Center

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center received $5 million National Science Foundation grant in June 2020 to build Neocortex, a revolutionary AI supercomputer that shortens the time needed for deep learning training. 

Employees at Petuum work on machine learning technologies

Photo Credit: Perkins Eastman

Developer of a machine learning platform. They help companies apply AI solutions across industries like financial services and e-commerce. 

Founded in 2016 and won $108 million in private equity funding within two years. 

Meta, one of the top artificial intelligence companies in the world, has operations in Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Magazine

Entered Pittsburgh in 2014 with acquisition of Oculus. The social media platform is using AI software to improve personal devices, like AR glasses

Expanded into a 150,000-SF building in early 2020 to accommodate up to 500 employees.

SAP's new $72 million regional headquarters in Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: Continental Building Co.

Entered Pittsburgh in 2012 with the acquisition of Ariba and Smart Op. SAP aims to further AI knowledge in open-access publications and their open-source code. 

Moved into a new $72 million regional headquarters and nearly doubled its regional employment to 1,000 

Downloads & Links

Pittsburgh Region: The Birthplace of AI PDF


Pittsburgh Region: AI Webinar on YouTube

AI Webinar on Youtube

Contact Us

Mike Harding
Vice President, Business Investment