A review on Human Resource Shortage in the Field of Artificial Intelligence in Israel

Recognizing the transformative effects of artificial intelligence (AI) and data science in various sectors, many countries worldwide have decided to concentrate efforts on promoting these fields. The Israeli National Infrastructure Forum for Research and Developmentha (TELEM) identified several challenges related to the human capital in the domains of AI and data science. These challenges include a small number of faculty members specializing in these areas at universities (fewer than 70 active members) and a migration of academic staff to research centers owned by companies. Clear indications also suggest a shortage of technological employees in the industry and difficulties in their recruitment.

In the years 2017-2018, the Samuel Neaman Institute published a series of reports titled "Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Smart Robotics." In one of these reports, findings from a survey conducted among 160 companies (out of the 650 operating in these fields in Israel during that period) were presented. The survey revealed that around 9,000 employees worked in AI, data science, and smart robotics in Israeli companies, with approximately 4,100 of them holding advanced degrees. Furthermore, the report indicated a shortage of about 5,800 employees, including approximately 2,900 individuals with advanced degrees.

It is important to note that the report did not distinguish between core research teams and development teams, and significant changes have occurred in the market since then, including a substantial growth in the number of companies from around 650 during the survey to 2,000 or more in mid-2023. Therefore, these data cannot be relied upon for policy planning purposes.

The objective of the current research, which was commissioned by the Israeli Innovation Authority, is to examine the number of missing research personnel in the industry in the field of artificial intelligence. This research aims to assist in determining the proposed policy to alleviate this shortage.


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