(Yicai Global) July 14 -- As China's power and influence in science and technology keeps growing, a backflow of overseas elites in the AI field has become a general trend.
Competition in the new round of talent in the artificial intelligence (AI) field is now tooth and nail.
"Our data shows annual growth in students with an overseas AI educational background who return to China after graduation of over 14 percent, while those who have worked overseas, but choose to come back is 10 percent. In other words, more experienced talents come back to China," said Wang Di, vice president of Technology at LinkedIn China to Yicai Global.
"Talent flow is inevitable. Since the entire market lacks AI talents, talents will flow from the place creating less value to places with larger value," said Song Jiqiang, president of Intel Labs China, in an interview with Yicai Global,
Unexpectedly, the Chinese AI talents are not as 'academic' as imagined. By 2010, about 10 percent of workers in AI field in China had formerly worked in universities or research institutions, and over half of them later migrated to enterprises. In contrast to China, the proportion of AI workers in the US who have worked in universities or research institutions is over 25 percent.
"Now we are in the early stage of AI, and AI masters are rare. If AI talents were as numerous as programmers, the AI talent scarcity would not be a problem," Song said.
In the internet age, The US largely spearheaded development of the worldwide web. China is trying to seize the chance to surpass the US in AI field.
"AI is reaching critical mass, first because it equates with computing power, second high data flow and, third, algorithm of in-depth learning," said Li Desheng, General Manager of Intel China Ltd.'s Strategic Cooperation Department and person in charge of Intel's innovation accelerator.
"Now it is a good time to innovate in and venture out into artificial intelligence, since the entire industry is transforming toward AI," said Xiong Weiming, a partner at China Growth Capital.