Apple, Google, and Facebook are raiding animal research labs, luring neuroscience experts with seven-figure salaries

Sarah McBride and Ashlee Vance for Bloomberg Businessweek:

Over the past few years, technology companies have been raiding universities to hire away [specialized animal researchers]. Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter all hired doctoral candidates from one of Mathis’s recent fellowship programs, she says. “The Ph.D. students would have jobs before they got their degrees.”

Animals have long played important roles in advancing corporate science, of course, particularly for medical treatments. But the leap required to translate insights from the zebra finch’s sound-processing anatomy into Siri’s voice-recognition software — or mouse gaming into a future when Amazon.com Inc. runs all-android warehouses — is of an entirely different order.

With whole new industries at stake, the race to unlock the secrets of the animal mind is getting weird.

MacDailyNews Take: Often, you never know where your chosen field of study will lead!

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