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How Many AI Jobs and Experts Really Exist?
Blog Feature

By: Ashley Sams

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February 15th, 2018

How Many AI Jobs and Experts Really Exist?

At the Marketing AI Institute, we read dozens of articles on artificial intelligence every week to uncover the most valuable ones for our subscribers (become a subscriber today), and we curate them for you here. We call it 3 Links in 3 Minutes. Enjoy!

1. How Many AI Jobs Really Exist?

There has been much debate about the size of the artificial intelligence talent pool. Last year, Element AI announced that there were less than 10,000 individuals with the skills needed to create AI systems, an incredibly low number considering the pace at which AI is developing. However, in December, Tencent Holdings Ltd. announced that they estimated the global AI talent pool closer to 200,000 or 300,000 people. Which is correct? Bloomberg Technology digs deeper.

Element AI has since announced a new estimate with more transparency. They scoured LinkedIn for individuals who earned PhDs in the last three years and included coding skills and technical terms relating to AI in their profiles, resulting in a new estimate of 22,000 qualified individuals, 3,000 of which are seeking work. Additionally, if they broaden their search to include those with PhDs earned over three years ago, there are close to 90,000 individuals with AI skill sets—an estimate somewhat closer to Tencent’s.

In reference to their earlier estimate, Element AI said it was based solely on a search of people active at academic AI conferences in the past seven years. The company also admitted that the earlier data was biased toward Western, English-language oriented sources. They hoped by sharing such a low number, governments and universities would begin dedicating more resources to artificial intelligence training. As a result, we can expect to see a positive impact on the AI talent shortage in the next three to four years. 


2. There’s No Business Like Show Business

As artificial intelligence continues to swiftly expand into more industries, more needs to be done to accelerate its development. Molly Lavik, founder of entrepreneur development company Mentor Insight, is doing her part by running the #AIShowBiz Summit, a convening of the greatest minds in AI and Hollywood entertainment, says Forbes.

“I’ve always known my path and purpose in life is to help others succeed. After many years of working with remarkable entrepreneurs helping them transform their venture visions into reality, I decided to create this community so that outstanding entrepreneurs could be supported via first-hand introductions to key financiers and other resources that would scale their AI businesses and, thereby, accelerate the industry overall,” explains Lavik.

The #AIShowBiz Summit just completed its second yearly event, bringing 175 attendees, 38 speakers and 10 hand-selected entrepreneurs together. However, the more impressive conversation is being started at the quietly-built, 65-person #AIShowBiz Roundtable.

The #AIShowBiz Roundtable is comprised of AI and entertainment influencers such as Manoj Saxena, Chairman of Cognitive Scale and known for commercializing IBM Watson; Ted Schilowitz, Paramount Pictures’ first “Futurist in Residence;” and Xavier Kochhar, creator of The Video Genome Project. The group meets in-person and virtually several times a year to, “develop and fast-track key brands, secure additional investment dollars and explore new partnerships via these meetings,” says Lavik.

Both the summit and roundtable are direct results of Lavik’s determination to find qualified people to fill the new jobs being created by artificial intelligence, especially those underrepresented in the sector.

”There is also much important work to be done to ensure that more women and people of diverse backgrounds assume leadership positions in AI,” she adds.

3. Machine Learning Mentor Program

Earlier this month, AI4All, an organization that caters to high school students interested in AI, established its first mentorship program in Oakland, CA. According to VentureBeat, the group was established by Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist for Google Cloud and director of Stanford’s AI Lab and Vision Lab, as a pilot program.

Over the next three months, female, African American, Latino and low-income students will work with employees from companies such as IBM, Ford, OpenAI and Accenture to solve problems that benefit humanity. Projects range from using natural language processing to assess the need for an ambulance for 911 calls, to using drones and computer vision to improve disaster relief efforts. The program will conclude with students presenting to a panel of AI experts.

This mentorship program is just one piece of AI4All’s initiatives to increase diversity in artificial intelligence—and balance potential bias and discrimination that may be embedded in machine learning algorithms.

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About Ashley Sams

Ashley Sams is Ready North's director of marketing. She joined the agency in 2017 with a background in marketing, specifically for higher education and social media. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of The University of Mount Union where she earned a degree in marketing.

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