Chris Bishop June 2015 Image 3

  • The NIPS conference has become the AI hiring event of the year
  • Big tech firms like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft send armies of people to try to find machine learning experts to join their ranks
  • Salaries on offer often run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The global war for artificial intelligence (AI) talent is raging, with tech giants fighting it out to hire the brightest minds in the field and use them to take their platforms into unchartered waters.

Finding the top people isn’t easy. There’s currently a shortage of people with the skills and experience needed to make breakthroughs in machine learning, a field of computer science that gives machines the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Fortunately, many of the top minds in the field are going to be concentrated in one place this week when they descend on a conference in Long Beach, California, called NIPS, which stands for neural information processing systems.

Google, Microsoft, DeepMind, Facebook, Intel, Nvidia, Amazon, Apple, and Open AI (Elon Musk’s AI research lab) will all be at NIPS presenting their latest research and looking to hire people from rival firms, as well as PhD students fresh out of universities like Stanford, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, and Imperial.

“The NIPS conference that is once a year in December is unofficially the hiring event of the year,” a Microsoft Research spokesperson told Business Insider last week. “So Microsoft is one of the companies that will be there representing the UK and looking to find those researchers that not only are the world’s best but also fit with our values. We’ve got quite a stake in this.”

In some respects, AI specialists are quickly becoming the new investment bankers. Multibillion tech companies are willing to pay big annual salaries — often in excess of Read More Here