The following document, published by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2020 on the basis of job posting data and surveys, describes the country’s strong demand for—and insufficient supply of—artificial intelligence talent. The authors make several recommendations to increase China’s supply of AI talent and to ensure that AI training in universities prepares graduates with the practical skills valued by employers.
The Chinese source text is available online at: https://www.miitec.cn/home/index/detail?id=2249
An archived version of the Chinese source text is available online at: https://perma.cc/TV7B-AB2U
U.S. $1 ≈ 6.9 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of September 14, 2022.
Artificial Intelligence Industry Talent Development Report
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) Talent Exchange Center
As the core driver of the new round of industrial transformation, artificial intelligence (AI) is profoundly changing production methods and lifestyles, and injecting new momentum for economic and social development. General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out that accelerating the development of new generation AI is a strategic issue that concerns whether China can seize the opportunities presented by the new round of scientific and technological (S&T) revolution and industrial transformation. At present, AI is taking on new features such as deep learning, cross-domain integration, human-computer coordination, the opening up of swarm intelligence (群智开放), and autonomous control. AI is a strategic industry that is ushering in the future, and if China is to maintain a competitive advantage in AI, it must strengthen the construction of its talent cadre.
In our research, we found that China’s AI industry talent pool still has the following three problems: First, there is an imbalance in the structure of talent supply and demand. There is currently a large shortfall in AI talent relative to overall demand, and in the supply of talent there is a serious misalignment between the types of jobs and technology directions (技术方向) on one hand and employer demand on the other. Second, there is an imbalance in the quality of talent supplied and demanded. With the continuous advancement of AI technology, its scope of application continues to expand, and the demand of enterprises for innovative, “hybrid” (multidisciplinary) talents has become more prominent, but the current quality of talents is hardly sufficient to meet the requirements of enterprises. Third, there is a regional imbalance in the supply and demand of talent. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta region, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area are the three major talent concentrations of China’s AI industry at this stage, and they also lead other regions of the country in the number of AI-related enterprises. In some less developed regions, a lack of talents further constrains AI industry localization trends.
General Secretary Xi Jinping has emphasized that “development is the number-one priority, talent is the number-one resource, and innovation is the number-one driving force.” For the development of the AI industry, we must firmly grasp talent as a resource, so that everyone can make the most of their talents, talents are put to full use, and their use brings success. The only practical way to solve the talent problem in the industry is to strengthen top-level design, focus closely on actual employment demand, promote development of the “industry-academia-research institute integration” model of AI talent training, and precisely train the talents needed by the industry.
The Artificial Intelligence Industry Talent Development Report (2019-2020), written under the leadership of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) Talent Exchange Center, provides a comprehensive analysis of human resource development in the AI industry from a talent perspective, and puts forward recommendations on AI industry talent work. If, due to the time restrictions, there are errors in the report, your corrections are welcome!
Artificial Intelligence Industry Talent Development Report (2019–2020) Editorial Committee
For the full translation, download the PDF below.