Investing in AI talent is the right move for enterprises

Global businesses want IT experts, tech innovators, full-stack developers, and artificial intelligence specialists to collaborate and create artificial intelligence tools and platforms that can automate the jobs of truckers, customer service reps, and even financial analysts.

Paysa, a careers and hiring data firm, estimates that U.S. employers alone will spend more than $650 million on the salaries of close to 10,000 AI jobs in 2017. Here’s a quick look at the estimated spending of the major enterprises in the United States.

AI Talent

Some takeaways to put things in perspective

Magic Leap made news recently for falling behind its target time to bring to the market its flagship virtual reality wearable device. However, the Paysa survey suggests that the firm is pitting hopes on artificial intelligence, paying an estimated salary of $135,000 for each of the 55 open AI jobs it expects to have in 2017. Because of the long-term benefits and differentiating prowess of AI, it’s expected that even startups looking to stay afloat are, and will, invest in AI talent.

IoT is expected to drive a massive wave of manufacture of millions of smart devices with tremendous applications in human life, enterprise work automation, and productivity improvements. IoT firm Here features in this top 20 list, vetting the belief that AI has a lot to give to firms putting their bets on IoT for their next big success story.

Amazon, Google, and Microsoft collectively account for close to 40 percent of the AI spending lined up for 2017; this puts into perspective how the big enterprises are aware of the need to deck up their AI artillery. This aims at not only ensuring they have in-house AI talent when they need it most, but also to ensure that difference makers are not hired by agile, niche, and focused startups.

Hire before the big boys take it all

AI talent

Remember, these are the estimated expenses on AI job salaries in 2017; the numbers are mammoth in size if we consider all AI investments, including technologies, acquisitions, R&D, and so forth.

Mark Minevich, a leading business consultant, in his recent Rise of the Autonomous Enterprise presentation, suggested that close to $2.5 billion was invested in AI in the United States, and it’s slated to be doubled to around $5 billion in 2017.

Minevich also stressed on how the U.S. is the hub of AI research and development activity, and hence, enterprises in the U.S. have the proximity advantage to be able to quickly tap into the power of new breakthroughs in AI technology, as well as the new breed of AI experts.

The problem is that the big boys of technology have already on-boarded a huge number of AI experts, leaving very little skill out in the skills market. This trend is likely to continue, which implies that late adopters of AI will have very little to pick from when they eventually decide to ramp up their workforce with AI experts. The solution is to hire now!

Moreover, businesses would do well to stay in sync with the amazing work being done by startup firms such as Vicarious (it used proprietary AI to automate code creation with bare minimum human interaction). Also, enterprises have to establish contact with colleges and universities offering advanced data science courses so that they can tap into the raw, inexpensive, and future-ready potential in the skills market.

On-board deep learning and predictive analytics experts

With time, the potential of AI will be available for small and medium-sized businesses in the form of tools and platforms. Of course, by that time, the early adopters would have already made billions and captured major market share in their respective businesses. Then, advanced AI capabilities around deep learning and predictive analyses will be sources of competitive advantage.

Enterprises with mature capabilities around the same will be able to compete with the big boys. This puts a lot of focus on how competent and strategically aligned the HR departments of corporations are today. HR hiring practices need to reflect the need for highly skilled and value-adding AI competent engineers and technocrats.

Hire to compete with non-U.S. businesses

We mentioned how the industry sentiment is all about U.S. being the powerhouse of AI technologies at the moment. However, nobody can ignore the tremendous work being done in countries like China, Sweden, and Israel. China recently invested $10 billion in a national institute focused on AI research.

Whereas this means that there will be a more globally spread out AI talent in the near future (a positive sign for multinational corporations), it also implies that businesses in other nations are ready to compete in the next round of business battles, the ones that will be fought using AI.

Emergence of chief artificial intelligence officer

In a survey done in 2016, Forrester Research surveyed enterprises, and found that 41 percent of global companies were already investing in AI, and another 20 percent had plans to hop on board the AI bandwagon in 2017. A stark reality, however, that faces most of these enterprises is the fact is that they don’t have the leadership that understands AI and its potential, and hence, they can’t use their storehouses of data and AI technologies to the best extent.

This is where a leadership position focused on AI becomes important. chief artificial intelligence officer (CAIO) might become a buzzword a few years down the line, but enterprises are already looking for AI pioneers to take up coveted top roles in their organizations, tasked exclusively to make AI big in their firms.

A notable thought

As you read this, there are hundreds of tech laboratories across the globe where the effort is on to converge the power of human brain into algorithms, circuits, and their combinations. Artificial intelligence has the power that any intelligent force wields – the power to change the landscape for the better. Is your enterprise ready to be a part of this change?

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