Is America losing its competitive edge in critical technologies? The House of Representatives Science Committee last week held the latest in a string of congressional hearings on this question, asking where the United States stands in fields like artificial intelligence, quantum physics and biotechnology.
A recurring theme in these hearings is that U.S. competitiveness depends on its workforce — and that a large part of the U.S. high-tech workforce comes from abroad. In AI, for instance, international students account for two-thirds of all graduate students at U.S. universities.
A perceived exodus of these international graduates has recently prompted fears about America’s ability to lead in technologies such as AI. Senior computer scientist Yolanda Gil wrote on behalf of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence that “international PhD graduates are leaving the US in larger numbers than before, in part due to immigration constraints but also due to the availability of attractive opportunities for AI overseas.”
Others in academia, the private sector and government have also sounded the alarm over the loss of U.S.-educated talent to other countries, especially China. But is this perceived brain drain real? Research my team and I conducted actually found very little evidence of increased U.S. talent loss.
Read the full article in The Washington Post.