Google Wants US Government To Revise Immigration Laws To Hire AI Professionals

Google is urging the US government to revise its immigration laws, particularly those pertaining to the employment of highly qualified individuals in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI). The tech giant claims that out-of-date laws are making it more difficult for the US to draw and keep top people in these vital disciplines, which might hurt the country’s competitiveness in the rapidly expanding AI industry. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Schedule A list is a major source of contention for Google. This list shows which jobs there is a labor shortage in the United States, which makes it easier for employers to sponsor foreign employees for permanent residence (Green Cards).

Google counters that Schedule A is out of date, having been modified last in 2005. It ignores the growing need for experts in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, which leaves these vital domains unaddressed.

In a letter to the agency of Labor, Google said, “The department originally intended Schedule A to be a tool for responding to labor shortages.” “Since it has not been updated in 20 years, Schedule A does not reflect current labour shortages.”

The Talent Shortage in AI
The need for qualified AI specialists is growing rapidly. Google expects to need a large number of AI engineers going forward, including software engineers, research engineers, and research scientists. They caution that the amazing potential of AI developments may be hampered by a shortage of trained labor.

This issue extends beyond Google. Global IT businesses are in intense rivalry with one another for talent in AI. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, has a history of directly luring DeepMind researchers away from Google with job offers that don’t need interviews. Experts in AI are paid enormous salaries; some researchers have been rumored to make as much as $10 million.

Falling Behind in the AI War?
Email leaks indicate that Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, is concerned about losing important employees to competitors, especially Apple. It is said that Apple hired more than a dozen Google AI experts. This worry is exacerbated by the US’s stringent immigration laws, which make it difficult for businesses to draw in and retain international talent.

An Appeal for Change
According to a recent executive order on AI signed by US President Joe Biden, public agencies must assist in developing the nation’s AI expertise. Google, nevertheless, feels that more work has to be done. They provide a three-pronged strategy in their letter:
Update Schedule A: Update the list on a regular basis to match the demands of the labor market, including cybersecurity and artificial intelligence jobs.

Simplify the Permanent Labor Certification (PERM) procedure: Employers that want to sponsor foreign workers for Green Cards must go through the time-consuming PERM procedure. Google is in favor of a more effective method.

Use Public comments: To make sure the Schedule A list is current and transparent, they advise taking public comments into consideration.

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