In Europe, there’s a shortage of IT professionals with chops in artificial intelligence

The rapid and sudden growth of interest in the world of artificial intelligence seems to have caught the European and, consequently, the Italian labor market by surprise, according to a survey by the social network LinkedIn.

The labor market in the sector is still immature, and that fact shows in the unequal distribution of AI professionals. The United States, with a smaller population, hastwice as many as EU member states. Among the latter, the United Kingdom, Germany and France alone host half of the entire European AI community, with, respectively, 24%, 14% and 12% of the total. Italy contributes a slice of 7.32%.

The industrial sectors most interested in the implications of the progress of artificial intelligence are the internet technology and the academic one: the absolute prevalence of this last sector, especially in Italy and Spain, is witness to the overall corporate delay because technologies tend to radiate from the academic sphere. There’s another difference between the two continents: While in Europe it is the large companies that attract the greatest number of talent in the sector, in the United States startups and “digital natives” are the masters.

There’s also a lot to do on the gender equality front. In Europe, only 16 percent of workers in the AI field are women, and in the US it barely reaches 20 percent. Our Italian colleagues get a good grade–there, 25 percent of AI professionals are women.