Demand for artificial intelligence (AI) know-how has exploded in recent years, and major technology firms are turning to the ranks of academia to find that expertise.
This demand is being driven by the falling cost of computing power and the need for methods of analyzing the mountains of data being generated every day.
Amazon, for example, is advertising for more than 50 AI positions in the U.S. and Europe and is searching for doctorate-holders to fill them.
The quest for talent often means poaching academia's best and brightest. The University of Washington (UW), for example, recently lost seven AI-related professors to Google. "Virtually every professor at the UW computer science department has been called many times to work at these companies, and frankly it's a very compelling pitch," says Oren Etzioni, who is on leave from UW's computer science faculty while he runs the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
Many tech firms also are pouring funds into major centers for academic research into AI, endowing professorships and funding research.
However, some academicians have complained about the new status quo, citing tech giants' unwillingness to share their mountains of data. "The high value of this work encourages companies like Google to keep their progress more secret," notes Tom Mitchell, head of the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University.
From The Wall Street Journal
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