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Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries For Scarce AI Talent

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Nearly all big tech companies have an artificial intelligence project, and they are willing to pay experts millions of dollars to help get it done.

Techs biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence.

Credit: Christina Chung

With artificial intelligence (AI) expertise in short supply, AI talent is commanding huge salaries from the largest technology companies, with sources estimating a typical specialist can make as much as $500,000 or more annually.

Element AI in Canada calculates fewer than 10,000 people worldwide are sufficiently skilled to meet leading AI research challenges.

Tech firms' overwhelming need for AI talent stems from their conviction that AI will revolutionize everything from driverless vehicles to digital assistants to medicine to robotics to stock trading.

Top earners are executives who have experience with AI project management, but although such behavior is "rational" for companies, Carnegie Mellon University's Andrew Moore says this trend is not necessarily beneficial for society.

The scarcity of AI specialists is spurring tech giants to hire top academic talent, limiting the number of professors who can teach AI skills. Some faculty members are compromising by splitting their time between industrial and academic pursuits.

From The New York Times
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