Experts in artifical intelligence are wanted everywhere. In Europe we have some of the best universities to study it. But unfortunately countries like UK and Germany face an artificial intelligence ‘brain drain’ as Silicon Valley raids its top universities for talent, data compiled by The Telegraph shows. Around a third of leading machine learning and AI specialists who have left the United Kingdom’s top institutions are currently working at Silicon Valley tech firms.

UK AI-students go straight to the US

Experts in artificial intelligence are wanted everywhere, especially in Silicon Valley where most of the Tech-giants are based. According to The Telegraph more than a 10th have moved to North American universities and nearly a 10th are currently working for other smaller United States companies. Meanwhile just one in seven have joined British start-ups. The Telegraph surveyed 150 people who had gained either a postgraduate-level degree or had held research positions at Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, University College London and Oxford Brookes universities. Many are offered six-figure starting salaries to take their scarce expertise to the United States.

Recent cases in which leading UK names in machine learning have been swept up have included Cambridge information engineering professor Zoubin Ghahramani, who became Uber’s chief scientist, and Sheffield machine learning professor Neil Lawrence, who was chosen by Amazon to lead its machine learning team from Cambridge. Sam Gyimah, the universities and science minister said: “The UK is one of the world’s leading technology nations and is recognised as a place where ingenuity and entrepreneurship can flourish. “We are a beacon for global talent, and as part of our modern industrial strategy – through our £1 billion [US$1.3 billion] AI sector deal – we are capitalising on the UK’s global advantage in artificial intelligence.”