The Academic Exodus of Artificial Intelligence Mindsets

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According to Stanford’s 2021 Artificial Intelligence Index Report, the number of new AI Ph.D. graduates in North America entering the AI industry post-graduation grew from 44.4% in 2010 to around 48% in 2019. By contrast, the share of new AI Ph.D.s entering academia dropped by 44% from 42.1% in 2010 to 23.7% in 2019. Private industry’s willingness to pay top dollar for AI talent is likely a contributing factor. While AI graduates are no doubt welcoming the trend — who wouldn’t kill for a starting salary that high? Between 2004 and 2019, Carnegie Mellon alone saw 16 AI faculty members depart, and the Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Washington lost roughly a dozen each, the study found.