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Universities: The Netherlands is losing too many AI researchers to tech companies

Four Dutch universities warn that more and more top researchers in the field of Artificial Intelligence are being hijacked by companies. According to the institutions, this brain drain leads to poorer research and education.

The universities say to NRC that the brain drain is partly caused by foreign companies, which are increasingly recruiting researchers from the educational institutions. Mark Mietus, director of the Data Science Center at Eindhoven University of Technology, says there are eight vacancies for ai-related studies and that these are difficult to fulfill. The University of Amsterdam, TU Delft and Leiden University also come up with similar warnings.

However, there are no exact figures that underpin the assumed brain drain, which is partly due to the fact that the university faculties do not map centrally where students and academic staff go when they leave the university. It is also difficult to get a good picture, because artificial intelligence is a collective term for multiple disciplines and studies.

Holger Hoos, professor of machine learning at Leiden University, says that technology companies and governments such as the US and China are engaged in a worldwide arms race in ai. This race ensures that the search for talent is important, and according to Hoos, this is at the expense of public knowledge development in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. According to the professor, mainly American companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM and Nvidia are actively recruiting. At the Amsterdam University, the same companies are involved, supplemented by German companies such as Bosch and Volkswagen.

In July, it appeared that Dutch programs can not manage the growth of AI students and moderate inflow with a numerus fixus or tighter selection criteria. These restrictions have been imposed because there is sometimes insufficient scientific staff to continue to guarantee quality for the large numbers of students. Artificial intelligence is part of the courses in data science , computer science , business analytics and applied mathematics.

The EU is trying to catch the European gap on countries such as China and the US with an investment of up to 1.5 billion euros in research into ai, in the hope that this will preserve, for example, European talent for artificial intelligence. We are also working on a network of European top institutions that will jointly conduct research into ai.

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Universities: The Netherlands is losing too many AI researchers to tech companies

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