AI migration

We’re still in the early days of AI applications and implications, but an interesting first salvo as Microsoft pulls some of their AI researchers from China to Canada. And perhaps more interesting is MS denying some of the original report (eg there is no “Vancouver Plan”), but this is becoming a new normal for tech companies. Most of the big ones have significant ties to China, either through manufacturing hardware or software R&D. But as the stakes rise in the AI field, poaching talent is becoming a concern. At least that is the stated impetus for establishing a new center in Canada and having some of the Chinese researchers move. At some point will we see limits on visas and other travel restrictions? While IP has freely moved across borders, people are a different story, and much easier to track. And as AI rises in importance, odds are that at least some people will be viewed as mission-critical. One big question is who will be winners, and who will be losers – time will tell.

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