Apparently there were over 7000 papers submitted to AAAI 2019 conference, currently going through the peer review process. https://aaai.org/Conferences/AAAI-19/ …
There must be tens of thousands of PhD students working on AI/ML research problems. A large portion of them will be entering the workforce in a few years trying to solve real-world problems.
The Lottery Ticket Hypothesis
You can follow @hardmaru.