Competition for the top tier of talent is the most intense, as there are fewer than 1,000 people who are considered capable of steering the direction of AI research and development.
The US leads other countries in both the quantity and quality of AI personnel, and China won’t be able to immediately solve the talent shortage despite elevating AI to a national priority, Tencent said in the report co-authored with Beijing-based recruitment portal zhipin.com.
About one-third of the available AI talent pool is spread across 367 colleges or universities around the world, with the US accounting for about 46 per cent of those. However, China only has 20 universities doing AI research and these also have weaker academic study capability as they developed much later than US.
The US leads in AI academic research but it also has the most AI start-ups globally, accounting for 41 per cent compared with China’s share of 22.6 per cent.
The large tech companies in both countries, including Google and Facebook in the US and Tencent and Baidu in China, have invested billions of dollars into research and development to develop AI technologies.