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TikTok owner ByteDance is stepping up efforts to attract graduate talent and build up its Western talent pipeline in computer science and artificial intelligence (AI).
In documents posted last week by academic conference the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), ByteDance encourages researchers to work with the company.
In one, the company invites “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 includes a “big cash prize pool” and “internship offers” for the most promising participants.
A separate flyer invites full-time academic researchers working at universities across the world to join “a platform to accelerate scientific output” and “to reach the summit of your research potential.”
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The initiative – the Qomolangma programme – specifically seeks people studying natural language processing, computer vision and graphics, and speech recognition, alongside five other fields.
The range of initiatives shows ByteDance is trying to compete more with the likes of Facebook and Google for the global pool of tech talent coming out of universities.
The company is currently heavily reliant on engineers in China, where most of its workforce is. This puts TikTok in the awkward position of having to send some Western user data to the country, as it publicly insists the data is safe from the Chinese state.
In October 2020, it told Reuters it planned to hire 3,000 engineers outside China in the next three years.
TikTok currently lists 70 separate roles for jobs gained through campus recruitment at universities around the world, including the UK, US and Singapore.
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Source:: Business Insider