Artificial intelligence (AI) is the hottest field in technology. Companies use AI to automate tasks typically done by people, and major tech firms see it as the foundation for their next generation of products. But there's a staggering talent shortage - fewer than 10,000 people in the world have the skill set to conduct important AI research, according to technology and consulting firm Element AI. The shortage has driven salaries sky-high: AI specialists reportedly fetch compensation of $300,000 to $500,000.
So, who are the biggest players in this race for talent? Careers site Glassdoor released a list of the top 15 employers seeking AI expertise. It searched its millions of U.S. job listings for job titles with the words "artificial intelligence," "AI," or "deep learning." It found 512 such roles as of October 20, 2017, nearly 50% of which are based in Silicon Valley. Companies hiring AI talent but who do not post their openings on Glassdoor are naturally excluded from this list.
To see the top 10, open the gallery below. For the full list, see the end of this post.
Amazon takes the top spot, with 64 AI-related job postings, more than double the number-two company on the list. In a job description for an "AI specialist solutions architect," Amazon says it has been investing in artificial intelligence for 20 years, using it to recommend items to Amazon.com customers, map routes for robots in fulfillment warehouses and recognize speech for its Alexa-powered products. The AI solutions architect role Amazon is recruiting for will work in the Amazon Web Services unit, which helps companies scale their technological operations.
Nvidia takes second place, with 31 AI openings on Glassdoor. The company has had quite a run over the past two years - its stock has risen six-fold because it sells computer chips that power AI applications, and demand is incredibly high. One of Nvidia's openings is an "AI developer technology engineer," a role that requires either a Ph.D. or a master's degree plus three years' relevant experience. The job description speaks with grandeur about the future capabilities of AI. "Soon, self-driving cars will reduce congestion and improve road safety," it reads. "AI travel agents will know your preferences and arrange every detail of your family vacation. And medical instruments will read and understand patient DNA to detect and treat early signs of cancer."
IBM ranks fifth on Glassdoor's list, with 17 openings for AI jobs. The company is building a new consulting practice focused on AI and automation, according to a job description for an "Associate Partner - Applied AI Automation Strategy." IBM aims to help organizations improve their business models, job functions and customer interactions using AI. The associate partner opening is based in Phoenix and requires at least 10 years' experience leading AI, analytics, technology or digital strategy projects.
Notably absent from Glassdoor's list is the most valuable company in the country, Apple. The iPhone maker has also registered far fewer AI patents when compared with Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook.
Full List: The Top 15 Employers Hiring Artificial Intelligence Talent
11. MoTek Technologies
13. PCO Innovation
14. Rakuten Marketing
15. Wells Fargo