Universiteit Leiden

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'Europe loses AI battle'

Europe falls behind China and the United States in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), which creates a brain drain for talented students and scientists. A high standard research institute for AI can turn the tide, claims initiator Holger Hoos, Professor of Machine Learning.

China and the US invest billions and lure scientific talent away with high salaries and excellent AI research facilities. In order to catch up with the competition, Europe must embrace CLAIRE: the Confederation of Laboratories for Artificial Intelligence Research in Europe, a high-quality scientific institute in the field of AI. That is what over 150 researchers present at NOS today.

Negative spiral

AI research is currently jeopardized by the increasing popularity of studies such as computer science and applied mathematics. All those new students must be taught, but an AI expert who lectures cannot do research at the same time. Some universities therefore set a limit on student admissions. This creates a negative spiral: the limitation slows the growth of AI specialists, resulting in less education and less research. The demand for AI specialists is however increasing explosively; there is no shortage of jobs or talent. And higher salaries and better research facilities in the US and China attract many students and scientists from Europe.

Responsible use

According to Holger Hoos, it is very unfortunate if the brain drain persists, he says to the NOS. 'We want to use AI on a very large scale. But should that technology be used if it only comes from China or the US? I am not convinced that the focus on the responsible use that we consider necessary in Europe should be there.' A European scientific excellent institute could offer a counterweight, following the example of the globally respected CERN for nuclear research. ‘Where the AI ​​community appears to fail, the physicists have succeeded: to operate as one community and to go public,' says Hoos.

Read the entire article in Dutch at NOS, including the experiences of three students from the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS).

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