Scared tech workers are scrambling to reinvent themselves as AI experts

As technology workers face challenges such as stagnant pay and layoffs, the demand for artificial intelligence (AI) specialists in Silicon Valley is skyrocketing. Companies are shifting towards AI-powered operations, making it a difficult time for regular software engineers. Many workers are realizing the need to highlight their AI skills to attract job opportunities. While the tech industry experiences a slowdown, investment in AI remains strong, creating a high demand for AI expertise. 
People in adjacent tech careers are seeking to transition into AI roles through on-the-job training and self-education. Job openings highlight the importance of an AI background, providing advantages and leverage for salary negotiations. AI engineers are paid an average of 27% more than traditional tech workers, with salaries growing at a faster rate. Consequently, many individuals are turning to AI-related communities and connections to pivot into lucrative AI positions and avoid being replaced by AI. To succeed in AI, experience and hands-on work are crucial for learning and growth. 
However, it can be challenging in an uncertain economy where companies prefer hiring individuals with existing AI skills. Despite the potential for job security, workers are advised to stay proactive and continuously update their knowledge of AI. Some workers are moonlighting or pursuing independent studies to enhance their AI capabilities. The early adopters and those who understand AI governance have the opportunity to make significant contributions. Professionals are seeking certifications and advanced degrees in AI to stay at the cutting edge of technology and ensure career longevity. While fluency in AI does not guarantee complete job security, freelancing opportunities provide the chance to work on diverse projects and potentially increase earnings. The future of any company may be uncertain, but the potential of AI remains promising. 

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has chosen London for its first corporate office aside from its San Francisco headquarters, the company said in a blog post on June 28.

The expansion of the nonprofit-lab-turned-private startup comes as OpenAI works on generating profits. Running AI infrastructure is not cheap. It’s hard to put a number on what it costs to operate ChatGPT, but the semiconductor research firm Semianalysis estimates that it costs OpenAI about $700,000 per day.

With that in mind, it helps that corporate taxes are lower in the UK than in the US and other European countries—such as France, which is also seen as a leader in AI with Google and Meta’s AI labs being located in Paris.

OpenAI said in the blog post that the teams in London will focus on research and engineering capabilities while also collaborating with policymakers. Google’s DeepMind, an AI lab founded in 2010, is also based in London.

“We see this expansion as an opportunity to attract world-class talent,” said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in the post.

With the EU looking to regulate AI, being in London may also prove beneficial for OpenAI. The British government has said that it wants to implement a pro-innovation approach to AI regulation, which Altman would surely welcome.

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