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 AI: Tech Firms Pay Top Dollar for Scarce Talent

The race for artificial intelligence (AI) dominance has meant that specialists in the field are being paid huge salaries by tech firms - large and small - for their knowledge and expertise, according to a The New York Times article, Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries for Scarce A.I. Talent, nytimes.com/2017/10/22/technology/artificial-intelligence-experts-salaries.html, published last fall.
What’s driving these skyrocketing salaries? A jobs gap.
That’s according to the article and a recent post on the topic on LinkedIn, This Skill Is Now Worth Millions, linkedin.com/feed/news/this-skill-is-now-worth-millions-84386.
Indeed, a major labor shortage of those with the ability to do deep research on AI is at the core of the issue. It’s estimated that only about 10,000 people worldwide have the necessary skills to do so, according to Element AI, a research institute in Montreal, CAN.
Tech giants such as Facebook and Google are competing not only with smaller rivals, but they’re also competing with auto companies for workers with this skill set, pushing up the cost of labor and drawing away experts from academia.
According to the Times article, even those with just a few years experience are being paid between $300,000 and $500,000, including equity for positions in the field. Those with deeper knowledge are sometimes paid in the millions.
Once a fringe subject, AI has become popular in recent years with tech-focused firms, which are betting the tech could power everything from self-driving cars to computers that can autonomously diagnose illness.
Sources: LinkedIn and The New York Times
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