Want to get rich? Start studying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The AI is going to move the world in the coming years and already Silicon Valley companies are paying big bucks for people who know it, or machine learning, well enough to solve big problems. In fact, such is the scarcity of people who know AI and machine learning well — one report says there are only around 10000 such experts — that companies like Google and Facebook are paying salary of over $5,00,000 per annum to hire these people.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence are the biggest trends in the Silicon Valley right now and the tech giants dolling out huge salaries for AI talent. “Tech’s biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence, banking on things ranging from face-scanning smartphones and conversational coffee-table gadgets to computerized health care and autonomous vehicles,” reports the New York Times.
As per the report, AI specialists, even with just engineering and masters-level degrees, and few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary in Silicon Valley. If you also happen to have experience in managing AI projects or have started AI-related companies, chances are that tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple will pay you millions in salary and stock grants.
In fact, of late a number of start-ups that Google, Facebook and other technologies companies have bought have been purchased not for the products or services that these start-ups were making. Instead, they were bought by the tech giants because of the people who started these start-ups. One prime example is Halli Labs, a Bengaluru-based start-up that was bought by Google for an undisclosed amount just four months after it was started. Halli Labs, when it was bought, arguably had no proper product out and was barely known outside the start-up circle. However, reportedly bought it because it wanted the people who started it.
The reason why the people with AI and machine learning skills are in high demand is simple. Nowadays the use of AI and machine learning is everywhere. Not only companies are using AI to create animated emojis — the upcoming iPhone X will recognise your face gestures and turn them into emojis — but are also trying to solve big hard problems like making driverless cars navigate a busy road without needing any human input. There are very few people who have the expertise to solve big problems using AI and machine learning.
Google this year said that it was no longer just a technology company making smartphones and running search engines. At its IO event in May this year company CEO Sundar Pichai said thatGoogle was now an AI-first company and not mobile first. This is the message he repeated at the recent Google Pixel 2 launch event. “Since last year and since Google IO, we have been working hard continuing our shift from a mobile first to an AI first world. We are rethinking all our core products and working hard to solve users problems by applying machine learning,” said Pichai.
Seeing the trend, even institutes like IIT have started waking up to the potential that AI offers to their students. On Tuesday, IIT- Hyderabad announced that it would be now offering a special course in machine learning and AI to its engineering students.
Earlier in August this year, IIT Madras had announced that it would open a new centre for AI and data science. The institute had said that it would open the Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in partnership with Bosch India.