Dec 11, 2019

D.C. metro leads on cybersecurity talent but trails in AI workers

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Reproduced from Carlin et. al, 2019, "Building the tech talent pipeline"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The national capital region (Washington, D.C., metro area) accounts for 12% of all U.S. workers in the information security field — more than double the San Francisco Bay Area.

Yes, but: When it comes to artificial intelligence talent, San Francisco and Seattle have almost 40% of the total workforce.

Why it matters: "Regions should consider what kinds of skills they need to achieve to support their local economies, and then choose a couple of areas to make bigger bets (based on current gaps relative to where there is demand) to help an area thrive," said McKinsey partner Brooke Weddle, who co-authored a report with the Greater Washington Partnership to evaluate the D.C. region's talent pipeline.

  • The large presence of the defense industry in the Washington, D.C. area helps draw in info-sec talent. Meanwhile, Big Tech companies on the West Coast are among the biggest investors in AI development.

Quick take: Data security and AI are increasingly intertwined, and the potential for adversaries to use AI to automate large-scale attacks is a major threat. So look for these employment clusters to even out as the fields integrate over time.

Go deeper: After HQ2, Northern Virginia tries to build a regional brand

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A threat to American AI talent

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

International students outnumber homegrown talent two to one among newly graduated AI experts, driving American leadership in the critical and increasingly crowded field.

Why it matters: Experts worry that U.S. hostility to immigration is choking this vital pipeline, potentially handing an advantage to competitors like China.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

A tug-of-war over biased AI

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The idea that AI can replicate or amplify human prejudice, once argued mostly at the field's fringes, has been thoroughly absorbed into its mainstream: Every major tech company now makes the necessary noise about "AI ethics."

Yes, but: A critical split divides AI reformers. On one side are the bias-fixers, who believe the systems can be purged of prejudice with a bit more math. (Big Tech is largely in this camp.) On the other side are the bias-blockers, who argue that AI has no place at all in some high-stakes decisions.

Go deeperArrowDec 14, 2019

AI's health care hype

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two new studies highlight artificial intelligence's potential to improve patient care, specifically by aiding or improving cancer detection.

Why it matters: AI could create enormous benefits for patients and the doctors who treat them, but some experts warn that the explosion of new health technology could put some patients in danger, as the L.A. Times and Kaiser Health News recently reported.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020