UK BRAIN DRAIN
EXPERTS in artificial intelligence (AI) are quitting UK universities and joining tech firms in their droves, according to a survey by the Guardian newspaper.
The “brain drain” is seeing academics (university teachers) leaving their posts and taking their talents to private companies, where the pay is two to five times higher.
AI research is one of the fastest-growing areas of science right now. With algorithms and digital services booming, companies like Apple, Google and Facebook are recruiting the brightest experts to develop new products and services.
In March, a leading AI expert at Cambridge left for a job at Uber, while a professor of robotics from Imperial College London and another from Oxford University quit to work for Google’s DeepMind AI project.
As universities lose out on these experts, young students miss out on learning from their knowledge.
Maja Pantic, a professor of computing, told the Guardian that the next generation of academics is being lost. She went on to say that “in the end, society will suffer”.
Some academics are calling for firm action to stop the drain – including a boost in pay.