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Tech Companies Raid Top Universities for Rare AI Talent

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Since 2011, the majority of new AI Ph.D.s have headed to industry.

Credit: Tyler Le / Business Insider

Companies racing for AI dominance are raiding college campuses to mine for talent, according to university professors, students, recent graduates, and industry professionals. Job offers promise mid-six-figure salaries, a chance to work with top talent, and enough resources to tackle problems too expensive to solve in academia.

The recruiting has gotten so aggressive that some universities are seeing a slowdown in enrollment for AI Ph.D.s. "They dangle a lot of resources and money," says Kavita Bala, the dean of computing and information science at Cornell University. "The student population is getting cleaned out."

Cornell seniors return to campus from summer internships with offers to start full time in the spring, Bala says. Some companies allow them to work part time while they continue their studies. The determined few who continue in academia to complete their Ph.D are a headhunter's ultimate prize.

From Business Insider
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