Em­ploy­ers put em­pha­sis on hir­ing top AI tal­ent

Com­pe­ti­tion among AI firms has turned to a scram­ble for tal­ent.”

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By CHEN MEIL­ING chen­meil­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

In 2017, af­ter 11 years of study in the United States, a pe­riod topped by a mas­ter’s in com­puter sci­ence from Har­vard Univer­sity, Tang Yuhan, 26, de­cided to re­turn to home­land China.

He said he was more than sat­is­fied to join an ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence or AI startup in Bei­jing. AI, he said, helped re­al­ize his dream of be­ing “a surfer rid­ing the waves of China’s new era”.

“I al­ready missed the chance to see how the in­ter­net re­shaped the coun­try in the past decades. I don’t want to miss this,” he said. “It’s a tech­nol­ogy that will be seen in every as­pect of life in the fu­ture.”

AI ap­peared in this year’s Gov­ern­ment Work Re­port for a sec­ond time. The re­port said China would strengthen re­search and ap­pli­ca­tions of AI in fields like med­i­cal care, ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture and sports.

Glob­ally, too, AI is mak­ing waves, and cre­at­ing a dire need for skilled pro­fes­sion­als. There are only about 300,000 glob­ally, while the de­mand is for more than 1 mil­lion AI pro­fes­sion­als, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by the Ten­cent Re­search In­sti­tute and on­line visit the Baidu ex­hi­bi­tion stand at the Light of the In­ter­net Expo in Wuzhen, Zhe­jiang prov­ince. re­cruit­ment plat­form Boss Zhipin in De­cem­ber.

De­mand rose more than five times from 2015 to 2017 since a mass of com­pa­nies be­gan to en­ter this field, the re­port said.

Ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia re­ports that quoted gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, China alone needs more than 5 mil­lion work­ers with AI skills in the fu­ture, to sup­port the boom­ing in­dus­try.

Tang, the Har­vard grad­u­ate, said when he was search­ing for jobs last year, al­most all big names of cor­po­rate China had sought to make cam­pus place­ments, in­clud­ing Baidu Inc, which launched a new round of over­seas re­cruit­ment from March to April, the golden months for job hunt­ing.

It plans to search for tal­ent in nine top uni­ver­si­ties in the US, to fill po­si­tions re­lated to ma­chine learn­ing, data min­ing and com­puter vi­sion al­go­rithms, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s re­cruit­ment ad­ver­tise­ment.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Tang, though more than 70 per­cent of his class­mates chose AI-re­about CEO and founder lated com­pa­nies, only 10 per­cent came to China.

“Com­pe­ti­tion among AI com­pa­nies has turned to a scram­ble for tal­ent,” said Liu Wan­qian, CEO and founder of PlusAI, a startup spe­cial­iz­ing in au­tonomous driv­ing. It boasts a road test li­cense in Cal­i­for­nia.

Liu said the com­pany needs 50 to 100 new AI per­son­nel every year, to take up jobs in­volv­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of driv­ing con­di­tions and de­vel­op­ment of au­to­matic brak­ing.

“Solid ed­u­ca­tional back­ground in ba­sic AI-re­lated sub­jects, in­clud­ing math­e­mat­ics, com­puter pro­gram­ming and statis­tics is a ne­ces­sity,” he said.

Liu did not share de­tails the salaries of his AI spe­cial­ists, but said they are roughly 20 to 50 per­cent higher than that of tra­di­tional tech­ni­cians.

Ac­cord­ing to re­cruit­ment web­site Zhaopin, Meituan Waimai, a food de­liv­ery firm, of­fers 20,000 yuan ($3,164) to 25,000 yuan per month to AI prod­uct man­agers.

For sim­i­lar po­si­tions, Baidu pro­vides a monthly salary rang­ing from 20,000 yuan to 30,000 yuan, ac­cord­ing to Zhaopin.

Du Lan, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of iF­lytek Co Ltd, an AI com­pany in China, said it trains for­mer tech­ni­cians to be­come new AI pro­fes­sion­als.

About 48 per­cent of its 9,000 em­ploy­ees are re­searchers in fields such as in­tel­li­gent voice recog­ni­tion, ma­chine learn­ing and nat­u­ral lan­guage un­der­stand­ing.

“Like wa­ter and elec­tric­ity, AI will en­ter every in­dus­try and fam­ily in the fu­ture,” she said. “China has al­ready taken a lead­ing role in many in­no­va­tions of this tech­nol­ogy.”

In or­der to meet the grow­ing de­mand, Du said an ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem is re­quired cov­er­ing pri­mary schools to vo­ca­tional schools and uni­ver­si­ties.


of PlusAI

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