Britain's tech talent is facing an AI brain drain

Silicon Valley is reportedly luring UK tech graduates and professors with higher wages

Silicon Valley sign

The UK is facing a potential brain drain in artificial intelligence as Silicon Valley is attracting the countries top university talent, according to The Telegraph.

The newspaper surveyed 150 people that had gained either a postgraduate-level degree or had held research positions at Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, UCL and Oxford Brookes universities and found that only one in seven has joined a UK tech startup.

Around a third of leading machine learning and AI specialist that have departed the UK are said to be working at a Silicon Valley tech company, with more than a tenth having moved to a North American university and almost a tenth currently working for a smaller US tech firm, leading to a worry that the UK is facing a shortage in AI specialists.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Over the summer the Deputy Mayor for London, Rajesh Agrawal suggested the capital's hotbed of AI startups could help the country rival Silicon Valley as the tech capital of the world. But the research from The Telegraph suggests that the famous Californian technology sector is still the top destination for AI specialists.

Part of the reason according to The Telegraph is the financial clout the US has compared to the UK. Earlier in the year, research from job site Hired suggested that London's tech workers earned significantly less than their US counterparts, with the average salary almost double in San Francisco to that of the average tech wage in London.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The UK government has been keen to seize, what it calls, the 232bn opportunity AI offers the UK economy and launched it's AI Sector Deal earlier this year. The government has pledged to invest 17 million to fund AI development in British universities.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The UK is one of the world's leading technology nations and is recognised as a place where ingenuity and entrepreneurship can flourish," said Sam Gyimah, the Science Minister

"We are a beacon for global talent, and as part of our modern industrial strategy, through our 1 billion AI sector deal, we are capitalising on the UK's global advantage in artificial intelligence."

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/business-strategy/31780/the-it-pro-panel
Business strategy

The IT Pro Panel

24 Feb 2020
Visit/technology/30736/what-is-ethical-ai
Technology

What is ethical AI?

11 Feb 2020
Visit/careers/28212/a-guide-to-cyber-security-certification-and-training
Careers & training

A guide to cyber security certification and training

13 Jan 2020
Visit/ir35/introduction
Software

Hotmail.co.uk migration to Outlook.com: Qs answered

11 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/development/application-programming-interface-api/355192/apple-buys-dark-sky-weather-app-and-leaves
application programming interface (API)

Apple buys Dark Sky weather app and leaves Android users in the cold

1 Apr 2020
Visit/security/cyber-crime/355171/fbi-warns-of-zoom-bombing-hackers-amidst-coronavirus-usage-spike
cyber crime

FBI warns of ‘Zoom-bombing’ hackers amid coronavirus usage spike

31 Mar 2020
Visit/data-insights/data-management/355170/oracle-cloud-courses-are-free-during-coronavirus-lockdown
data management

Oracle cloud courses are free during coronavirus lockdown

31 Mar 2020