Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc... ...Full Bio
Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc...
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The Great AI Recruitment War: Amazon Is On Top, And Apple Is Almost Nowhere To Be Seen
When Matt Zeiler finished his PhD in machine learning from New York University in 2013, the tech giants came scrambling.
While he was graduating, the young artificial intelligence researcher won the ImageNet competition, which pits teams against each other for who can get the best image recognition. His team beats outs giants like Google. His teammate, the NYU Professor Rob Fergus, was quickly picked up by Facebook, and the tech giants were hungry for Zeiler too. Google, where Zeiler had previously interned, offered him a position, but so did Microsoft, Apple and Facebook. A bidding war started. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg even met with him personally, Zeiler said.
Zeiler rebuffed all offers and founded his own startup, Clarifai, but that's rare in a world where tech giants are willing to pay top dollar for AI talent. Every student coming out of these university programs are finding themselves deluged with offers from tech companies as AI has become increasingly central to the products and services that are consuming our lives. Microsoft Research head Peter Lee compared recruiting AI talent in the field of deep learning to recruiting a top NFL quarterback.
But that was back in 2013. Now the talent war for AI researchers has ramped up even more. New numbers out from Paysa, a recruitment platform, give some indication. Based on a study of public job listings among US employers, the top 20 AI recruiters are spending more than $650 million annually to hire talent in this field. The usual suspects -- Amazon, Google and Microsoft -- far outweigh recruiting efforts by other players.
Paysa collects data from various job hiring sites and listings posted on company websites. The results don't at all show what AI talent these companies currently possess, or the billions companies are spending to acquire AI startups. Rather, the data gives some indication of how hungry these companies are to acquire new AI talent in the past year. The AI-related keywords Paysa included in its search terms were deep learning, neural networks, computer vision and reinforcement learning, among others. Another important note is that Paysa has only been collecting this data since early 2016, so it's hard to gauge annual increases.
"The level of demand that we see for AI far outpaces everything else,‚?? said Paysa CEO Chris Bolte. "What‚??s most interesting is really the size of the investment from Amazon and Google relative to the rest of the market.‚??
Amazon appears to be the most hungry AI recruiter by far. The Seattle tech giant Amazon's average annual investment is $227.8 million with 1178 AI jobs posted. Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is part of this effort, but the company is pushing the technology into every part of the company. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos used his most recently annual shareholder letter to highlight the importance of AI and machine learning across the company.
"Much of what we do with machine learning happens beneath the surface," Bezos wrote. "Machine learning drives our algorithms for demand forecasting, product search ranking, product and deals recommendations, merchandising placements, fraud detection, translations, and much more. Though less visible, much of the impact of machine learning will be of this type ‚?? quietly but meaningfully improving core operations."
After Amazon, Google comes in second place with $130.1 million for average annual investment in its recruiting efforts. The company listed 563 AI jobs in the past year. The remaining top 10 AI recruiters appears as follows on Paysa's list: Microsoft, Nvidia, Facebook, Intel, Rocket Fuel, GE, Cylance and Oculus.
The biggest surprise in Paysa's data is that Apple has no presence among the top names recruiting AI talent. Apple comes in way down at number 98 on Paysa's list. This low placement on the list may likely be due to Apple's extreme secrecy, a fact that puts off many AI researchers. The AI research community are used to collaborating and sharing their discoveries to push the entire field forward. When Zeiler was touring tech companies in 2013, for example, he was able to quickly decide that Apple wasn't the right place for him.
"It's not just that they don't publish papers that was turning me off," he said. "Different teams don't talk to each other at Apple. It's a weird setup. I worked at Google before and the Google Brain team collaborated with the Street View team, because it made sense. At Apple, everyone is working on different problems without talking to each other. That's kind of scary as an engineer who wants to do big things."
Apple recently appears to have taken note that secrecy puts it at a disadvantage for attracting top AI talent. It has begun making serious moves to shed some of the secrecy. In December, it published its first research paper on AI, as Forbes first reported. The paper describes a technique for how to improve image recognition training using computer-generated images rather than real-world images. And in January, it joined an industry alliance with rival tech giants like Amazon and Google called the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society. Apple will together with its rivals to develop best practices and educate the public around AI.