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Trump Temporarily Suspends H-1B Visas Impacting US Ability to Keep AI Talent

The Trump administration’s aim to protect US jobs for Americans may backfire when it comes to AI technology talent. The suspension of the H-1B, a 3-year work visa granted to foreign workers in specialty fields such as highly skilled tech workers could impact the country’s global dominance in AI, as the current US talent pool originates primarily from abroad. A recent analysis from the think tank MacroPolo found that 69% of AI researchers working at US institutions received their undergraduate degrees from outside the US. Two-thirds of graduate students in the US’s top AI-related PhD programs are also international, with roughly 80% of them staying five years after graduation. This situation may lead to AI talent looking to move to Canada, the UK, France, and Australia among others. These four have declared an intent to build their national AI capacity, and have adopted or proposed major immigration reforms to attract more AI workers.

Source : MIT Technology Review, based on academic year 2016-17

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