- The "war for talent" on the US West Coast has led large corporations to recruit on a global scale.
- The CEO of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence has managed to lure young talent away from Silicon Valley.
- He says the draw of a company is about living standards as well as pay.
It's no secret that if you want to innovate in the tech sector, be on a high salary and get all the other perks, you should go to Silicon Valley. The "war for talent" in this region has led large corporations to recruit on a global scale. And if a tech giant like Google, Facebook, or Amazon calls, you're hardly likely to turn them down, are you?
Wolfgang Wahlster, CEO and Scientific Director of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (Deutsche Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz in German, or DFKI), has apparently found a way to lure young talent away from Silicon Valley over to Germany.
In an interview with the "Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung," Wahlster spoke of an employee who quit Google to work in his research centre in Germany — for three times less the pay he was on in Silicon Valley.
Can the DFKI ever compete with Google?
According to Wahlster, various factors would have led to the decision: "It's not all about pay; it's also about the living standards you can afford where you are." In the US, the former Google employee would have had to pay a hefty sum for his children's education, whereas it would be free in Germany.
Of course, Wahlster admitted that Germany could not compete with China and America in terms of AI and machine learning. "We have don't have any companies like Google, Baudu or Tencent."
With 900 employees and more than 80 spin-off companies, the DFKI is, according to Wahlster, the largest research centre of its field in Germany. He emphasised that the US company Nvidia, in addition to renowned American universities such as Stanford, have made a self-produced GPU computer available free of charge only to the DFKI, with which neural networks for the Deep Learning optimisation method can be determined 100 times faster than with simple computers.
Not only that but, as well as Dax companies, DFKI also has US companies such as Intel, Google, and Microsoft as shareholders and has a headquarters in Beijing.