The AI Talent Gap: Locating Global Data Science Centers [source: gigaom]

Good AI talent is hard to find. The talent pool for anyone with deep expertise in modern artificial intelligence techniques is terribly thin. More and more companies are committing to data and artificial intelligence as their differentiator. The early adopters will quickly find difficulties in determining which data science expertise meets their needs. And the AI talent? If you are not Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, or Apple, good luck.

With the popularity of AI, pockets of expertise are emerging around the world. For a firm that needs AI expertise to advance its digital strategy, finding these data science hubs becomes increasingly important. In this article we look at the initiatives different countries are pushing in the race to become AI leaders and we examine existing and potential data science centers.

It seems as though every country wants to become a global AI power. With the Chinese government pledging billions of dollars in AI funding, other countries don’t want to be left behind.

In Europe, France plans to invest €1.5 billion in AI research over the next 4 years while Germany has universities joining forces with corporations such as Porsche, Bosch, and Daimler to collaborate on AI research. Even Amazon, with a contribution of €1.25 million, is collaborating in the AI efforts in Germany’s Cyber Valley around the city of Stuttgart. Not one to be left behind, the UK pledged £300 million for AI research as well.

Other countries to commit money to AI are Singapore, which committed $150 million and Canada, which not only committed $125 million, but also has large data science hubs in Toronto and Montreal. Yoshua Bengio, one of the fathers of deep learning, is from Montreal, the city with the biggest group of AI researchers in the world. Toronto has a booming tech industry that naturally attracts AI money.

Data scientists worldwide.

Examining a variety of sources, data science professionals are spread across the regions where we would expect them. The graphic below shows the number of members of the site Data Science Central. Since the site is in English, we expect most of its members to come from English speaking countries; however, it still gives us some insight as to which countries have higher representation.

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