Dividing $138 million by 400, you get $345,000, which is the average salary of the 400 employees of DeepMind, a UK company acquired by Google in 2014 to develop artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. DeepMind released its staff costs in the company’s annual financial results last fall. Of course, these are specialists at the highest level, who, according to research by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, develop AI solutions with an IQ that is much higher than solutions from top American and Chinese competitors.
Anxious search for specialists
According to The New York Times, there are fewer than 10,000 AI experts in the world; not many considering the investment in this sector. That’s why Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Nvidia, General Motors, Tesla, Uber and many others are desperate to find experts in artificial intelligence. The hunting ground extends to small- and medium-sized enterprises and especially to universities, who are unable to compete with the salaries offered by large companies. Canergie Mellon, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, lost around 40 researchers from its robotics lab to Uber in 2015.
High initial salaries
The same is happening in many other universities (including major universities such as Stanford and The University of Washington), where professors are leaving teaching, study and research activities on artificial intelligence technologies to work for private companies. Even recent graduates are highly sought after and can obtain very high starting salaries with only a few years of experience behind them.
In AI, there is a disproportionate relationship between supply and demand. The rapid upward spiral of salaries, a dream scenario for headhunters, have some calling for a salary cap, like those used for pro sports such as the NFL. The only thing that could reverse the trend is artificial intelligence itself. Or, better still, an AI software that can produce AI software, as Google proposes to do with its AutoML.
The future of AI jobs
For now, AutoML is only a research project, and in the meantime, the ranks of those with AI expertise will continue to grow.
English translation by www.lettera43.it