TikTok proprietor ByteDance lures abroad AI and tech expertise with new coaching camp for ‘world’s prime college college students’

  • TikTok guardian firm ByteDance is stepping up efforts to recruit graduates and on campus. 
  • It’s launched a brand new bi-annual AI coaching session in Beijing for “students across the world.”
  • One knowledgeable identifies “a dramatic decline” in Chinese graduates making use of for examine within the US – an enormous expertise pipeline for the large 4.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

TikTok proprietor ByteDance is stepping up efforts to draw graduate expertise and construct up its Western expertise pipeline in laptop science and synthetic intelligence (AI). 

In paperwork posted final week by educational convention the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), ByteDance encourages researchers to work with the corporate. 

In one, the corporate invitations “students across the world” to ByteCamp, “a week-long training session in AI technologies at the ByteDance head office in Beijing.”

ByteCamp is “a new bi-annual training camp open to the world’s top university students”, the flyer claims, which features a “big cash prize pool” and “internship offers” for essentially the most promising individuals.

A separate flyer invitations full-time educational researchers working at universities internationally to hitch “a platform to accelerate scientific output” and “to reach the summit of your research potential.”

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The initiative – the Qomolangma programme – particularly seeks individuals finding out pure language processing, laptop imaginative and prescient and graphics, and speech recognition, alongside 5 different fields. 

The vary of initiatives reveals ByteDance is attempting to compete extra with the likes of Facebook and Google for the worldwide pool of tech expertise popping out of universities.

The firm is at the moment closely reliant on engineers in China, the place most of its workforce is. This places TikTok in the awkward position of having to send some Western user data to the country, because it publicly insists the info is secure from the Chinese state.

In October 2020, it told Reuters it deliberate to rent 3,000 engineers exterior China within the subsequent three years. 

TikTok at the moment lists 70 separate roles for jobs gained through campus recruitment at universities around the globe, together with the UK, US and Singapore.

SEE ALSO: TikTok owner ByteDance is said to be making a Clubhouse-style app for China after the country blocked the uncensored invite-only platform

Many of those listings are for laptop imaginative and prescient analysis scientists and pure language processing engineers. One in 10 of these positions is open for present MBA or PhD college students. 

William Wang, director of the pure language processing lab and machine studying centre on the University of California, Santa Barbara, instructed Insider that ByteDance’s competitors with western tech “has already started.”

He added he understood that laptop science departments at American universities had seen “a dramatic decline of grad applicants from top Chinese schools this year, due to the pandemic and other factors … 

“Normally these college students would come to the US, get their levels, and plenty of of them will keep and work for Facebook or Google.

“Now I suspect that many have directly joined leading Chinese companies directly after their graduation in China. 

“Leading Chinese corporations purpose at recruiting each home and abroad college students: the [ACL] convention has giant percentages of submissions from China and the US.”

ByteDance declined to comment. 

TikTok has long tried to recruit on-campus, emails between the social media company and UK universities, obtained by Insider with a freedom of information request, reveal.

It hosted a TikTok Spark event on careers in the digital industry on November 28, 2019 which included “an enticing panel dialogue adopted by a networking session with TikTokers. Swags [sic], meals, and drinks will likely be supplied”, the company told prospective attendees. 

But one UK university was unsure about hosting an event with TikTok, amid concerns over its ties to China.

In July 2020, a University of Sheffield official emailed colleagues: “We’ve been approached by Tiktok however there was some controversy surrounding the corporate these days, so need to examine we are able to work with them.”

The emails don’t reveal whether or not the occasion finally happened.


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