An influx of artificial intelligence (AI) startups is heating up the battle for technical talent in Europe, leaving companies like Google DeepMind to choose between paying big or losing out on the region's best minds.

The runaway success of OpenAI's ChatGPT has energized investors, who have been pouring money into promising AI startups, eager to uncover the next overnight success.

Riding the investment wave, a crop of foreign AI firms — including Canada's Cohere and U.S.-based Anthropic and OpenAI — opened offices in Europe last year, adding to pressure on tech companies already trying to attract and retain talent in the region.