Facing a shortage of domestic expertise, the Biden administration is embarking on a global search to bolster the US Federal Government AI workforce for the National AI Talent Surge, the government said in a statement on Monday (29th Jan).

In line with the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts in the US, agencies are now grappling with the challenge of expanding the federal talent pool with individuals well-versed in AI research, development, procurement, and deployment. This deficit has prompted the administration to cast its net wide, actively seeking expertise from around the world to meet the ambitious goals laid out in the order.

At AI.gov, the administration has outlined pathways for both immigrant and nonimmigrant foreign nationals to contribute their AI knowledge to federal agencies.

Overcoming hurdles such as prolonged hiring processes, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is deploying AI-specific cohorts, involving the Presidential Innovation Fellows and the US Digital Corps, to seamlessly integrate private sector talent into the public sector.

The OSTP is leveraging successful tech talent programs of the past decade to infuse government agencies with tech-centric skills, providing more opportunities for those interested in AI-related work.

The US government aims to use AI in everything from climate change initiatives to the disability benefit processes.

The transformative impact of AI is already evident in various sectors of the US government. From addressing challenges like climate change and cancer research to streamlining government services, AI is proving instrumental in enhancing efficiency.

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The US has also recently launched initiatives such as the National AI Research Institutes and the National AI Research Resource pilot.

The call for talent includes professionals across technical and non-technical domains.

The UK government announced a similar scheme in November 2023, with a £118m fund towards UK universities and research in order to avoid a future AI skills gap

The money will go towards 15 new scholarships to help students learn AI skills at the UK’s top universities.

According to research company GlobalData’s job database, the most active AI-related job titles in hiring between 2020 and 2023 were testers, programmers and software developers. Demand for data scientists had also risen dramatically, with over 100,000 data scientist job postings closed within the last three years. 

Overall, GlobalData noted that AI hiring remained a resilient hub of activity despite considerable layoffs in Big Tech companies such as AmazonMicrosoft and Meta.