After reading my colleague Jon Victor’s piece Friday morning, I called up my 16-year-old brother to give him some career advice: Become an AI researcher.
As Jon’s piece details, the market for AI talent is heating up, with recruiters from top companies like OpenAI and Google dangling lucrative compensation packages in front of AI researchers. OpenAI, for instance, has promised annual compensation of between $5 million and $10 million, mostly in the form of stock. (The caveat is they need to join before the ongoing share sale closes, as stock handed out after that will be pegged at a higher valuation, which means less near term chance for appreciation.)
The firm behind ChatGPT has also been shelling out raises to junior employees to make sure they’re not tempted away by rival firms. Despite its first-mover status, OpenAI is at a disadvantage to Google in one respect: access to the rare chips needed to train and run AI software, as CEO Sam Altman himself admitted, according to Jon’s piece.
So perhaps OpenAI is trying to get ahead on the talent front while it can. Or perhaps it’s responding to growing competition from smaller startups, like Anthropic, and big tech firms like Meta Platforms, all of which are also offering attractive compensation for AI talent.