Despite recent obstacles, majority of international AI PhDs want to work in the United States
Washington, DC — Talent is core to U.S. competitiveness in artificial intelligence, and international graduate students are a large source of AI talent for the United States. Retaining them in this country as they transition into the workforce is essential. Graduate student retention has been a historical U.S. strength, but that strength is endangered by recent events, concludes a new report released today by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET).
Key findings from the report, “Keeping Top AI Talent in the United States,” include:
- International students are a critical source for graduate-level U.S. talent in AI.
- The vast majority of international AI PhDs remain after graduation — around 90 percent in the short-term and more than 80 percent for at least five years.
- Two trends threaten the U.S. AI talent advantage: growing immigration obstacles and other countries’ investment in AI ecosystems.
The report’s recommendations include:
- Reforming high-skill immigration rules in order to maintain and improve U.S. international AI talent retention.
- Address legitimate security concerns around foreign AI talent while avoiding broad and potentially counterproductive restrictions.
Established in January 2019 at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, CSET studies the security impacts of emerging technologies, supports academic work in security and technology studies, and delivers nonpartisan analysis to the policy community. CSET aims to prepare a generation of policymakers, analysts and diplomats to address the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies. During its first two years, CSET is focusing on the effects of progress in artificial intelligence and advanced computing.